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Albon to stay with Williams with dig at Piastri

Thai driver Alex Albon confirmed Wednesday he has agreed to continue with Williams in 2023 amid the fallout over fellow Formula One hopeful Oscar Piastri’s denial he will be racing for Alpine.

“I understand that, with my agreement, Williams Racing have put out a press release this afternoon that I am driving for them next year,” Albon said in a Twitter post, ironically paraphrasing Piastri.

“This is right and I have signed a contract with Williams for 2023. I will be driving for Williams next year. Let’s go @williamsracing.”

On Tuesday, Australian Piastri refuted an announcement made earlier in the day by the French team Alpine that he had signed for them next season. 

“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year,” wrote Piastri, saying the announcement was “wrong”.

“I will not be driving for Alpine next year,” said the 21-year-old driver. 

Williams are one of the teams which, according to unconfirmed reports, are in talks to sign Piastri, Formula 2 champion in 2021 and currently a reserve driver at Alpine. 

Williams, however, made no mention on Wednesday of their other driver, Canadian Nicholas Latifi, whose contract expires at the end of this year. 

The confusion follows last week’s announcement by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel that he would retire at the end of 2022. 

His Aston Martin team announced a few days later they had concluded an agreement with Alpine driver Fernando Alonso, a double world champion, to replace Vettel from next year. 

This precipitated the decision of the French team to announce Piastri as his replacement when the Australian seems to have entered into negotiations to sign for another team. 

Albon, 26, whose mother is Thai and father British, debuted in Formula One in 2019 with Red Bull and joined Williams for this season. 

During his time at Red Bull he had two third places before being replaced in 2021 within the Austrian team by Sergio Perez. 

He currently sits 19th place in the championship with three points.

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