YAS ISLAND, Abu Dhabi – Scuderia Toro Rosso has announced Alexander Albon will drive for the team next year in the Formula One World Championship alongside Daniil Kvyat.
The 22-year-old British/Thai driver has had a very impressive season in Formula 2 this year and entered the finale last weekend at Abu Dhabi with a shot at the championship. A start line collision in the race ended his hopes, but he still finished third overall in the F-1 feeder series with four wins.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to know that I’m in Formula One next year,” said Albon. “Throughout my single seater career, I went through a few ups and downs. I was dropped by Red Bull in 2012, so from then I knew my road to Formula 1 was going to be a lot harder. I worked really hard and tried to impress every time I got in the car, and I have to say a big thank you to Red Bull and Dr Marko for believing in me and giving me a second chance. I’ve always been motorsport mad and since I first got in a car it’s been my dream to be in Formula One. To be given this opportunity is just incredible.”
Albon started racing in karts and won various championships. He joined the Red Bull program in 2012. He had a great season in 2016, when he finished second in GP3 to his teammate Charles Leclerc. This year was his second season in F2. Although born in London, Albon races under the Thailand flag. It means that 2019 will be the first time there has been a Thai driver on the Formula One grid since Prince Birabongse, who raced in the early 1950s.
“Alexander had an impressive Formula 2 season in 2018. He won four races and finished the Championship third. The way he is able to overtake many of his rivals in the races shows that he is ready and matured to race in Formula One,” said Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda Team Principal Franz Tost. “Scuderia Toro Rosso is very much looking forward to 2019, as with Daniil and Alex we have two young, very strong and competitive drivers.”