Williams Team Principal James Vowles has addressed speculation linking Alex Albon with a move away from the team at the end of the year.
Albon has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes following the seven-time World Champion's decision to join Ferrari in 2025.
The Thai-British driver has boosted his reputation with two strong seasons with Williams and heavily aided its run to seventh in the Constructors' Championship last year.
Albon's contract length has been speculated for some time, but speaking to media including RacingNews365, Vowles explained: “Alex is signed with Williams until the end of 2025.
“That’s signed. That’s not something I've been very public about because I don't feel the need to. So any report that you’re seeing and there's one in particular, they're speculating at best.
“As I've also said publicly, it is our job at Williams to create an environment that deserves someone of the calibre of Alex. It’s as simple as that. I've said that from the beginning and I still maintain that.
“He is an incredible driver that deserves his place towards the [front] end. He did drives last year, I’ve already commented on, they’re no different than some of the other champions I've worked with.
“He kept half the field behind one race. We put him in difficult positions and he overcame that to score points.”
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'Albon's future at Williams not a given'
Albon didn't assert his commitment to Williams beyond the 2024 campaign when questioned about his future.
Going forward, Vowles declared that any decision made from his side regarding Albon's future will be done so with Williams' long-term interest in mind.
“He and I have good chats about where we want to move forward,” said Vowles.
"Where we want to move forward, is we want to have our journey together in this team for a long time.
“It’s not given by any stretch of the imagination nor should it be for that matter. We have to demonstrate to the world we’re not moving backwards, we’re moving forward.
“Would I stand in his way? I have the responsibility of Williams on my shoulders. That's the most important thing to me.
“It’s not the responsibility towards one individual, in this case, Alex, it’s a responsibility towards the team.
“So should any decision go that way, it's because I'm very clear in my mind that I've made decisions that’s correct for the team's long-term goals, not short-term.”