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Albon prefers Williams to sacrifice 2025 for bigger F1 2026 gains

Having signed a long-term contract extension, Alex Albon is keen for the Williams Formula 1 team to focus on 2026

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Photo by: Patrick Vinet / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon says he would be happy to see his Williams Formula 1 team sacrifice 2025 to be in the best possible position for the 2026 rules reset.

Albon recently extended his contract with Williams for at least two more years, tying him to the outfit into the new regulations for 2026, an outline of which was recently unveiled.

The extension was a huge coup for Williams team boss James Vowles, who aims to rebuild the Grove-based squad around its lead driver. And with Albon now secured, the Thai driver has bought into Vowles's long-term focus as Williams undergoes a drastic revamp.

That means he would be happy for Williams to sacrifice its chances next year if it can be in a stronger position for the new technical regulations in 2026, which teams can start attacking in full from January 2025.

"That's partly with the longer-term contract, you're not so focused on the short term," Albon said.

"You don't want short-term success if it brings you pain later on and as a team, we need to think more about the future if we want to belong at the top.

"If we want to be a frontrunner, there are still things we need to do to do that and they're big changes that take time.

"Yes, I would much rather sacrifice 2025 for 2026."

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Williams is still battling the consequences of a delayed launch car production, which means it is behind on bringing aerodynamic development to the track and its chassis is much more overweight than it should have been.

In Canada, Williams slipped to ninth in the constructors' table behind Alpine as Albon was taken out by a spinning Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, losing a good chance to score the required points to keep Williams ahead.

Under the budget cap, and with Williams' current development resources, the squad will have to make a decision on whether to prioritise losing weight from its chassis or focus on aerodynamic gains.

But with the rules staying the same for 2025, improving its 2024 car will at least yield benefits over the next 18 months.

"In terms of development, it's still important because the regulations aren't changing next year, so whatever you gain from this year you move on to next year," Albon pointed out.

"The biggest thing for us as a team is to make sure we hit weight targets, that would be our biggest step forward. If we can get the fundamentals right in that sense, we're going to make a big step as a team for next year.

"We do have upgrades that are coming that are performance as well, but I would say the carrot at the moment is more towards the weight than the aero side.

"We're comparing the two and seeing financially as well what makes sense. Losing weight isn't cheap."

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