Alex Albon opens up on Mercedes lure behind new deal with key change on horizon

Henry Valantine
Alex Albon meets fans in Australia.

Alex Albon has secured his long-term future in Formula 1.

Alex Albon confirmed the “safe bet” of having Mercedes power in 2026 was a factor behind him committing his future to Williams for the long term.

Williams will remain Mercedes customers past Formula 1’s significant regulation reset in 2026, when both the chassis and power units will be different to how they stand on the grid now.

Alex Albon: Mercedes ‘time and time again’ are ‘safe bet’ in regulation changes

All power unit manufacturers are working at pace to get their 2026 power units in place, with Audi joining the grid as a factory team and Ford linking up with Red Bull as the sport expands.

But given Mercedes’ record in the previous set of regulation changes, the team powering its way to unprecedented continued success at the start of the turbo hybrid era from 2014, Albon admitted their success was a factor in getting him to decide to stay at Williams until at least 2026.

“For sure it is, I think Mercedes time and time again, when it comes to these regulation changes, they seem to be one step ahead of their rivals,” Albon told Total Motorsport.

“Not to say I don’t think other teams will do a good job, but I think it’s at least a safe bet.

“When you look at maybe the other midfield teams who are bringing in a new PU I’m sure they’re going to put in a lot of money to hit the ground running.

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“At the same time, I think I’m hoping that even in 2026 if we’re still in our building phase – obviously, I want to hit that year on top form, but if it’s not there quite yet we’ll still have a very strong power unit to go alongside us.”

Albon admitted there were multiple options in front of him for next season, with team principal James Vowles having expressed his delight at being able to keep the Thai-British driver beyond the end of the year.

But the former Red Bull driver acknowledged that the combination of knowing the team, belief in Vowles’ leadership and the fluidity of the driver market helped him in his choice.

“There were a few options on the table to choose where I wanted to be,” Albon admitted.

“When it came down to it, it just felt like the Williams route was firstly the one I know – I’ve been here a few years now – but also the one I believe in.

“The driver market is moving every week, it was moving every week when I signed my Williams deal.

“The more the year went on, it’s just one of those tricky situations, but the more that I believed in the team, in the project and the journey, and James was always reminding me of where we’re at so it kind of led to this natural decision.”

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