Williams seeking ‘right driver pairing” for crucial two-year period

© XPB 

Williams team boss James Vowles says the British outfit is evaluating its driver options for the future as it seeks to put together the right driver pairing, not only for next season but also for F1’s regulation change in 2026.

Alex Albon remains contracted to Williams for 2025, and based on Vowles plans, the Anglo-Thai racer should extend his allegiance to the team for at least an additional year although it is also known that Red Bull is keen on bringing the 28-year-old back to Milton Keynes at some point.

As for Logan Sargeant, a dark cloud of uncertainty continues to hover over the American driver’s prospects due to his persistent struggles.

Vowles nipped in the bud a rumor that emerged in Miami last weekend that claimed that Sargeant was set to be replaced as soon as next week’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix by 17-year-old Mercedes protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

But Sargeant’s chances of retaining his drive with Williams look bleak at this stage.

“What we’re doing at the moment is evaluating drivers for ’26 and ’25, and what we really want is the right driver pairing for those two years, because when you go through a regulation change, you really don’t want to be changing drivers in ’26, so you’re looking for the right pairing for that period of time,” Vowles explained, speaking to F1.com.

The Williams boss didn’t deny his interest in Antonelli, but admitted that the Italian’s lack of racing experience makes him an outlier at best.

“There’s no doubt he’s got huge skill to him, but he was in a Formula 4 car 20 months ago,” said Vowles.

“That’s where he is, it’s a very different proposition to most. We’ve been talking to four or five drivers at the moment for that period of time, and I’m quite happy to sit back a little bit and wait.”

Vowles says that his wait-and-see approach is justified by his team’s performance. The Briton wants to see progress from Williams’ car before making a final call on its future driver line-up.

“More so than that, I have a duty and a responsibility to make this car faster first, because Alex is a championship-level driver,” he explained.

“We’ve just got to provide the right car for him, to be behind him. We haven’t yet, so my main focus is there, and that typically then unlocks other possibilities in the future.”

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter