Formula 1 journalist Lawrence Barretto has backed Williams star Alex Albon for a big move in the future.
The British-born Thai driver has put in some consistent performances for the Grove-based squad as their number one driver since joining in 2022 – and was key in leading the team to a seventh-place finish in the constructors’ standings last year.
The 27-year-old had previously driven for the world champions in the second half of 2019 after being called up from Toro Rosso and then for a full campaign in 2020, before being ousted from the team in favour of the Mexican.
With Hamilton’s departure, Albon’s name has been mentioned in the running for the vacant Mercedes seat to partner close friend George Russell.
13 drivers are out of contract at the end of the 2024 season, including Albon, and F1 pundit Barretto believes that he is the ‘biggest key’ to the driver market and will be on the move in the future.
Speaking on the official F1 website, he said: “Running [Carlos] Sainz close for the accolade of biggest key to the driver market is Alex Albon. Williams naturally want to keep the Thai racer, who single-handedly guided the team to seventh in the constructors’ last year.
“Albon and his team are believed to have been involved in talks with at least half of the grid about a move in the future, with two teams – Alpine and Haas – having been keen on his services for 2023.
“Should Albon deliver strongly in the opening half of the season, and if Sainz hasn’t yet signed a deal with Ferrari or made a move elsewhere, the two of them will be the biggest talking points in the driver market.”
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