Formula 1: Top free agent off the market after surprise extension

A lot can be said about Alex Albon’s recent contract extension with Williams, considering the inconsistencies of the team in recent Formula 1 seasons.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Alex Albon, Williams, Formula 1
Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Alex Albon, Williams, Formula 1 / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Considering how well Alex Albon has done with Williams since returning to Formula 1 in 2022, specifically in 2023, the Thai-British driver was linked to a move to Red Bull or Mercedes for 2025. Sergio Perez's future with the former is far from secure, and Lewis Hamilton has already agreed to move from Mercedes to Ferrari.

However, Albon recently committed to a multi-year extension which keeps him with Williams into the next era of Formula 1.

While the possibility of Albon continuing at Williams was never out of the question, it was not considered to be the likeliest option. Considering the fact that he is 28 years old, time is running out for him to make a move to a big team if he desires to do so.

Forgoing such an opportunity in a unique year that sees the driver market so wide open means one of two things: either there was not actually that much interest in Albon from other teams, or he really does like being at Williams and sees the potential for success.

Either way, top teams seeking a new driver have to look elsewhere, while Albon is now done doing just that.

We all saw how well Albon performed last season in the FW45. Achieving a 13th place finish in the driver championship and securing 96.4% of the points Williams earned spoke levels on his improvement. He spearheaded the team's top finish in the constructor standings, seventh, since 2017.

Committing his future in Formula 1 to Williams, where he is now set to remain until he turns 30, was a big decision. Focusing strictly on the decision itself, the project at Williams clearly seems to appeal to him as the new era of rules and regulations looms in 2026.

Albon addressed the matter, according to AP News.

"It has been a difficult start to the year but since joining Williams we have made significant progress together and I have seen the huge changes happening behind the scenes to take us back to the front of the grid."

Alex Albon

Sticking with Williams despite the tough times is an admirable decision from Albon, and if the team find themselves back to competing with the best teams in a few seasons, the 28-year-old will be commended in the future for his belief.

Perhaps there is even some weight to the rumor that Adrian Newey is considering joining the team.

Formula 1: The upside (and downside) of a Kimi Antonelli promotion. Formula 1: The upside (and downside) of a Kimi Antonelli promotion. dark. Next

Despite the public not knowing what all is going on behind the scenes at Williams, the inconsistencies over the last few years have been visible to all. So there is certainly some risk involved for Albon, but he clearly believes that the potential rewards outweigh it.