Albon keeps Williams F1 seat for 2023 after earning new deal

By Sports Desk August 03, 2022

Alex Albon will keep his Williams seat beyond this season after signing a multi-year deal with the team, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Thai-British driver joined Williams for 2022 and has secured all three of the team's points so far this season – finishing 10th in Australia and ninth in Miami.

Formerly of Red Bull, Albon's initial deal with Williams was for a single season, but the team confirmed he will return to the grid next year, as well as for future seasons.

"It's really exciting to be staying with Williams Racing for 2023 and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team in the remainder of this season and next year," Albon said.

"The team is pushing hard to progress, and I am really motivated to continue this journey and further develop our learnings together."

Albon could still have a new team-mate for the 2023 season, with Nicholas Latifi's contract expiring at the end of the season.

Williams' announcement comes in what has been a dramatic seven days in F1, which started with the announcement of Sebastian Vettel's retirement at the end of the season.

Fernando Alonso was then confirmed to be Vettel's replacement at Aston Martin, with Alpine later stating Oscar Piastri would step into the vacancy – though the Australian denied those claims.

It has been suggested Piastri is in negotiations with McLaren for a seat alongside Lando Norris for 2023, which in turn would leave Daniel Ricciardo seeking a new team.

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    Marquez was thrilled to finally put himself at the front of the grid and hopes his exploits can give his team a lift, but knows it will be a different story come race day.

    He said: "I'm really happy to be back in pole position. It's only pole position, it's in wet, but in the situation we are in right now with team right now, it's really good news for us.

    "We need the small achievements, we need the motivations. I'm happy, it was the time to do it. I feel like in FP2 the lap time was coming and if it's wet in the afternoon I have a big chance.

    "That's what I did, I tried to attack and I did a good lap, I didn't exaggerate but it was enough to be on pole position. Tomorrow will be a different story, but today we must be happy."

    Enea Bastianini's hopes of stepping up a title challenge were rocked by a crash in Q1. He is set to start 15th.

     

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    1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) – 1:55.214
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    4. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) +0.406s
    5. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.472s
    6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.557s
    7. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.570s
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  • Williams to part company with Latifi at end of 2022 season Williams to part company with Latifi at end of 2022 season

    Williams have confirmed they will part company with Nicholas Latifi at the end of the 2022 Formula One campaign.

    Latifi was widely expected to leave Williams upon the expiration of his contract this year, with the team reportedly considering a full-time seat for Nyck de Vries, who recently deputised for them at Monza.

    The Canadian failed to pick up any points during his first campaign with Williams in 2020, first doing so with a seventh-placed finish at last year's Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Lafiti, whose crash at last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix led to a highly contentious finish to Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen's title fight, has failed to finish higher than 12th in any race this term.

    Williams chief executive and team principal Jost Capito said: "On behalf of the whole team, I would like to say an enormous thank you to Nicholas for his three years of hard work with Williams. 

    "He is a great team player who has a great attitude towards his colleagues and work and is well liked and respected throughout the business. 

    "Our time together is now coming to an end, but I know he will put full effort in to maximise what we can do together for the remainder of this season. We wish him all the very best of luck for his future, both in and out of the cockpit."

    Latifi, meanwhile, said he had enjoyed his spell with the team despite their lack of success, adding: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Williams Racing – all the people back at the factory and those I work with trackside – for the last three years. 

    "My initial F1 debut was postponed due to the pandemic but we eventually got going in Austria and, although we have not achieved the results together we hoped we would, it's still been a fantastic journey. 

    "Getting those first points in Hungary last year was a moment I'll never forget, and I will move onto the next chapter of my career with special memories of my time with this dedicated team."

    Williams confirmed last month that Alex Albon had signed a multi-year agreement to continue representing the team, and Friday's statement said their full 2023 line-up would be announced "in due course".

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