Alex Albon Had To Put Kissing Stingrays On Hold To Sign New Deal With Williams

Alex Albon has signed a new deal with Williams as another piece of the Formula 1 driver market puzzle for 2025 and beyond falls into place. You'd think nothing would stop someone from putting their John Hancock on a new F1 deal, but Albon almost put it on the back burner because he had plans to smooch some stingrays.

Albon signed a multi-year deal to stick with Williams which means he will be part of the team when F1 introduces new regulations in 2026 — which could shake up the current pecking order — come into play in 2026.

The team put out a great video in which team principal James Vowles wanted to "demystify" the contract signing procedure.

"I'll do one thing to demystify contract signing," Vowles began. "Because everyone always sees it on TV and we're lined up here and there's a piece of paper on the table and sign it. Can you describe exactly, Alex, to everyone, where you were and what you were doing just before you signed that piece of paper?"

"I was in a car on the way to kiss some stingrays," Albon said.

Whoa. First of all, as far as smoochable animals go, I didn't think that stingrays were included in that exclusive club. I kissed a dolphin one time (it's cool, I got permission first), but stingrays have mouths on the bottom of their body. I can't figure out the mechanics of this, but I believe Alex Albon when he says he was on his way to plant some pecks on cartilaginous fish.

Albon said that he nearly made stingray kissin' priority numero uno, but eventually decided that putting his career first was probably a good call.

"We wanted it done that day," Albon said. "And with the time zones being about seven or eight hours (apart) we had to take a quick stop to the office, so I signed. I don't know if the paper came across a bit soggy?"

Soggy paper or not, Albon is locked in which is great for the team and for him, as the number of potential options out there continues to dwindle.

 What Does Albon's New Deal Mean For The Driver Market?

Albon's name came up a lot in driver market pontification primarily for the openings at Mercedes and Red Bull, the latter especially. 

He previously drove for Red Bull, but the man who currently holds that seat — Sergio Perez — seems to be having a better 2024 than 2023, although it was around this time last year that his season started to unravel.

Who knows if Red Bull was ever truly on the table, but if it was, maybe the long-term outlook looks a little more bleak with some of the off-track drama and the recent news that car design mastermind Adrian Newey will leave the organization entirely early next year.

This has been a tough season for Williams so far. They're one of two teams on the grid that have yet to score a point. The other team in that position is Sauber, and they only recently managed to get pit stops under control.

Williams doesn't look to have taken as big a step forward as teams around them like Haas and RB have, Albon himself has struggled at times too. He has had some costly incidents including the major crash in Australia that trashed his monocoque and led to the team benching teammate Logan Sargeant and putting Albon in his car in what proved to be a failed attempt at stealing a point or two.

The 2026 regulations could bode well for Williams, who now only have one seat to fill with some solid drivers still on the market including Sauber's Valtteri Bottas (who previously drove for Williams) and Zhou Guanyu, as well as Ferrari's Carlos Sainz plus any number of up and comers from F2 including Mercedes prodigy Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Written by
Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.