Mercedes: Alex Albon says he must 'do more' to earn top F1 seat opportunity after Lewis Hamilton Ferrari switch

Alex Albon has been linked with a 2025 move to Mercedes following confirmation of Lewis Hamilton's decision to join Ferrari next year; Albon's strong performances last year also saw him linked with a return to Red Bull; watch every F1 race in 2024 live on Sky Sports F1

Alex Albon believes Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari is 'amazing' for the sport and says he remains focused on Williams despite rumours he could join Mercedes

Alex Albon says he must maintain his 2023 level of performance "and then just do a bit more" to ensure he is in the frame for "opportunities" such as replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2025.

Following Hamilton's shock decision to join Ferrari in 2025, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is now seeking a new team-mate for George Russell next year.

Albon's impressive previous campaign, which saw the 27-year-old finish 13th in the drivers' standings and lift Williams to a much-improved seventh, has resulted in him being linked with a move to a team competing at the front of the grid.

There has also been speculation the British-born Thai driver could be a candidate to return to Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen, with Sergio Perez's contract expiring at the end of the season.

Williams have revealed their stunning new car for the 2024 Formula 1 season at a special launch event in New York

"Truthfully, the focus really isn't there at the moment," Albon told Sky Sports News after Williams launched their 2024 challenger on Monday.


"That's more for behind-the-scenes work. I'm focused on Williams and the positive spiral that we're on and trying to do the best job I can.

"Obviously, the interest comes in the performances. That's why there's a bit of a noise, just because of the season that we've had last year.

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"I've got to keep that up and then do a bit more just to make sure that these opportunities are available.

"At the same time, I am focused at Williams for now, and a lot of it will be about these first few races that are on the calendar, seeing how much of a step we've made as a team."

Hamilton at Ferrari will be 'pinch yourself' moment

Albon said he was "just as surprised as everyone else" by the sudden announcement of Hamilton's switch to Ferrari.

The seven-time world champion's move was confirmed little more than five months after he had signed a contract extension at Mercedes that had been expected to keep him with the team until the end of 2025.

However, the Brit opted to activate a break clause in the contract, meaning 2024 is set to be his 12th and final season with Mercedes.

Damon Hill and Natalie Pinkham debate whether Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari is the biggest in history

"I was [shocked]," Albon said. "I have to say, I think normally we most probably get a little bit more insight to these kind of moves a week or two before the announcement gets made. But I was in Spain at that moment, and I think I was just as surprised as everyone else.

"It's amazing for the sport. I think the impact, the noise around Formula 1, it must be one of the biggest pieces of transfer market news in a good time, especially for F1.

"So it's exciting to see and at least, for me, a little bit of a pinch yourself moment. It just seems so odd to think about Lewis in a red overall."

When is F1 pre-season testing?

Pre-season testing takes place from Wednesday February 21 to Friday February 23 at the Bahrain International Circuit with just three days for the teams to get prepared for the new season.

When is the first F1 race?

Just one week later, the opening race of the 2024 season will begin with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29 to March 2.

Due to the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, the Bahrain and, seven days later, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, will be held on a Saturday.

This means practice one and two will take place on Thursdays, with final practice and qualifying on Fridays.

24 races in 2024! Watch every round of next season live on Sky Sports F1, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29-March 2. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership

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