In the wake of the good performances displayed in the current Formula 1 season, the Thai Alexander Albon has extended his contract with Williams, according to the traditional British team on Wednesday. The deal closes another of the remaining slots on the grid for the 2023 season.
Albon’s renewal had already been expected for a few weeks. The Thai is in his second spell in F1 and has more experience than Canadian Nicholas Latifi, his current team-mate. Latifi is a strong candidate to lose his seat for 2023, which would open up an opportunity for a rookie at Williams. Albon would therefore be the reference for the future partner, not yet defined.
Williams did not reveal the exact length of Albon’s new contract. As usual, he only said the Thai would continue as the team’s driver “into 2023 and beyond”. He is in his first season with the British team this year, having been knocked out last year. He had lost his title in the red bull for not having convinced the team leader.
This year he won a new opportunity, now extended to the next few years. Even with a limited car, Albon showed consistent performance in the first half of the championship. He even scored points in two stages, with a 10th place at the Australian GP and a 9th in Miami. He has three points for the season, compared to zero for Latifi, and is in 19th and penultimate place overall.
The poor placement hides the good performance of the driver, who obtained reasonable positions in most races, with 11th, 12th and 13th in different stages, in the team considered the worst in the championship. “I am very happy to stay with Williams for 2023. And I look forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team for the rest of this season and next year. Developing with learning as a team,” commented Albon .
With the Thais remaining for 2023, next year’s F1 grid has five undefined places, all between medium and small teams. In practice, the five seats on the grid become only four because one of them belongs to Canadian Lance Stroll. Without a contract with Aston Martin for 2023, Lance is the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll.
The other drivers without a contract are Chinese Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Canadian Nicholas Latifi (Williams) and German Mick Schumacher (Haas). Of this quartet, those least likely to continue in F-1 are Tsunoda and Latifi, due to their poor performance and repeated mistakes.
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