British-born Thai driver Alex Albon is staying at Williams next year and beyond after agreeing on a multi-year deal, the Formula One team said on Wednesday.
“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,” said Albon.
“The team is pushing hard to progress, and I am really motivated to continue this journey and further develop our learnings together.”
On Tuesday, Australian Oscar Piastri refuted an announcement made earlier in the day by the French team Alpine that he had signed for them next season.
“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year,” wrote Piastri, saying the announcement was “wrong”.
“I will not be driving for Alpine next year,” said the 21-year-old driver.
Williams are one of the teams which, according to unconfirmed reports, are in talks to sign Piastri, Formula 2 champion in 2021 and currently a reserve driver at Alpine.
Williams, however, made no mention on Wednesday of their other driver, Canadian Nicholas Latifi, whose contract expires at the end of this year.
The confusion follows last week’s announcement by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel that he would retire at the end of 2022.
His Aston Martin team announced a few days later they had concluded an agreement with Alpine driver Fernando Alonso, a double world champion, to replace Vettel from next year.
This precipitated the decision of the French team to announce Piastri as his replacement when the Australian seems to have entered into negotiations to sign for another team.
Williams team principal Jost Capito said, “Alex is a tremendous driver and valued member of Williams Racing, so we’re thrilled to be able to confirm we will be working with him on a long-term basis.”
“Alex brings a great blend of skill and insightful learnings that will help bring the team greater success in the future.
“He’s a fierce competitor, has proved a popular and loyal team member and we are delighted that he will provide a stable base for us to continue to develop in this new F1 car era,” Capito said.