Hamilton’s Ferrari move ‘great for F1’ but ‘my focus is on Williams’ – Albon

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Alexander Albon has stressed he is committed to his current team despite a vacancy opening up at front-runners Mercedes next year.

Lewis Hamilton’s unexpected decision to leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the season has opened up a seat alongside George Russell next year.

Albon is entering his fifth season as an F1 driver and won praise for his performance at Williams last year. He could be an attractive option to Mercedes as he already uses their power units and has a good relationship with Russell. However Williams team principal James Vowles stated yesterday Albon has a contract with them for next year.

The driver said he is leaving discussions around his future to his management team as he focuses on preparations for the new season.

“I would be denying it if I said there have been questions and general chats around that already,” he told media including RaceFans at the launch of the team’s new livery for its forthcoming FW46 chassis yesterday. “But truthfully it’s not really, personally, my area. That’s more management and that kind of section.

“My focus is about driving. Where I stand is I’m very excited to see how this 46 develops. I want to see how the car feels in Bahrain and the subsequent four, five, six races and really get a feel for the progression that I hope we’ve made as a team.”

Albon joined Williams in 2022 having been left without a race seat the year before as Red Bull downgraded him to a reserve driver role. “My whole focus is on Williams and that’s where I see myself,” he said. “I’m seeing about the long-term future and the rate of progression to me is also very important.

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“Time will tell, but that’s kind of my short-sighted view. Of course, things are moving around quite a lot, you guys know that, you guys also know there’s a lot of rumours going around. But that’s where I am at.”

Hamilton had been linked to a move to Ferrari on many occasions before last week’s announcement. Albon admitted he wasn’t sure whether to take the news seriously when it broke, but said Hamilton’s decision is “great for the sport.”

“What a news story it was. I don’t know about you guys, I definitely didn’t see it coming. But good for him, I think he wants that change up.”

The announcement coincided with the build-up to the new season, in which many teams are presenting new liveries and cars. It also came on the same day Ferrari reported strong performance in its road car division, after which its share price rose by around 9%.

“The timing of it is obviously awkward, more for it being the week before all the teams are doing their announcements,” Albon continued. “But for me, it just shows you how big Lewis is, seeing the stock of Ferrari going up as much as it did and just seeing the general perception of the news.

“Definitely to me it was one of them ‘pinch yourself’ moments: Is this a real story? There’s so many rumours going on over the winter, you didn’t know what had any credibility or not. The Ferrari one definitely seemed to be a rumour to me at the very beginning of the story and then it turned out to be a real thing.

“So it’s great. It reminds me of kind of the [footballer Lionel] Messi’s Miami transfer, on such a huge scale, and just shows you the appetite for Formula 1. Obviously as you guys saw, it lays a lot of questions in the driver market as well and opens that up.”

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5 comments on “Hamilton’s Ferrari move ‘great for F1’ but ‘my focus is on Williams’ – Albon”

  1. Ok Alex but somebody has to go to Mercedes, Carlos will probably go somewhere other than Mercedes and the musical chairs game might include you, who knows

  2. Peter Windsor mentioned on his livestream the other day that he was 90% sure Albon had already signed with Red Bull to partner with Max for 2025 onwards.

    1. He might have agreed to join them but it depends if he’s physically signed the deal or not. Whilst the Red Bull is the faster car, you could argue Mercedes is a better career move than number 2 driver to Max.

  3. Albon sounds like he is taking a page from Hamilton’s playbook here.

  4. I would hope Albon’s focus is indeed on Williams. He shone at the races a few times last season but he is not a top team driver and never was.

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