Although Alex Albon insists he believes in the Williams project, the driver has enough self-confidence to “keep myself open” to a move up the order.
Albon joined Williams last season and set about not only lifting the team’s performance but also his own confidence, which had been hit hard after his Red Bull axing.
Re-energising his Formula 1 career as he blitzed his teammate Nicholas Latifi, this year Albon has been one of the stars of the show.
Alex Albon will remain at Williams for the 2024 F1 championship
The 27-year-old has secured all 21 of Williams’ points to elevate the team to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship while he could yet knock on the door of a top-ten showing in the Drivers’ standings.
His achievements have caught the eye of rival teams with growing interest in Albon, who this year has already been linked to his former team Red Bull as well as Ferrari.
But while he’s staying at Williams next season, and Helmut Marko believes he’s actually “tied to Williams until the end of 2025”, Albon has made it clear he won’t rush to commit to Williams long-term as he wants to keep his options open.
“I think I have the confidence in myself to keep myself open,” he told Motorsport.com.
“There’s a balance really,” he continued. “Being totally honest, I want to see this team and I want to be part of a team that brings this team forward.
“I think the rate of progress that we’re having here at Williams and seeing what’s happening behind the scenes is great. I’m fully committed to the team until my contract pretty much ends.
“But I am also 27. Although I’m not young, I’m also not old. And I do feel like I am in a good part of my career. If you take another year I’m 28, then 29 going onto 30 soon.
“I want to give myself the chance to be able to fight for wins and fight for podiums. And what it comes down to is, at that time and in that time, can we bring this team to be that team?”
Albon says it is a case of so far so good on the road to recovery for Williams with the driver impressed with the team’s progress.
He does, however, concede there is still a long road to walk.
“I think we’re in a window of opportunity for us because we’re achieving results and we believe there’s even more potential if we can fix these characteristic problems,” he said.
“We got downforce on the car, maybe a little bit less than some of the top teams around us, but we’re also poor within some corners where we just can’t be at the limit through the whole corner because we have a certain limitation at a certain point. Once that goes away I think we are going to become a much more rounded team.
“That being said, it sounds very easy to say. It’s been a limitation in the car for almost over five, or six years, I’d say. So we do need to address it and fix it, but I feel like now, more than ever, there’s a good chance we’re going to really get on top of it.
“We may not fix it completely, but I do believe we’re going to make a good step.”