Alex Albon Secures Toro Rosso 2019 Seat

Albon STR Drive.jpg

Brendon Hartley's stay in Grand Prix racing is over, with Toro Rosso securing the services of 22-year-old Formula Two third place finisher Alexander Albon for 2019.


Anglo-Thai driver Albon makes the third 2018 Formula Two driver to be promoted to Grand Prix racing next season, the young four-time F2 race winner joining up with 2018 champion George Russell for Williams, and support category runner up Lando Norris in the McLaren Renault team.

“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 One was going to be a lot harder,” Albon said.​

“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 (their motorsport consultant) Dr (Helmut) Marko for believing in me and giving me a second chance.”
Albon looked set to make the switch to the Nissan e.dams Formula E team next year, however with Toro Rosso seemingly unhappy with the performances of former World Endurance Champion Brendon Hartley this season, the Italian team have spent the last few weeks negotiating with representatives of the Nissan team to free the driver from his commitments for the coming year, bringing an end to the short F1 career of Hartley and adding yet another new rookie name to the grid next season.

For his part, Albon will be making a return to the Red Bull when he lines up for Toro Rosso in 2019, having been dropped by the Austrian team in 2012 during his formative years working through the motorsport ladder. However with a superb 2018 behind him, Red Bull have once again dipped back into their pool of former driving talent to recruit the youngster for Toro Rosso, teaming Albon up with fellow returnee Daniil Kvyat next season - a move team principle Franz Tost thinks the 2018 DAMS driver is now ready to exploit:

“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 the Austrian.​

With Albon now confirmed the 2019 Formula One grid is complete, and all that remains is the long wait until the lights go green in Melbourne on March 17th.

 
 
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

rubaru

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:O_o:
 

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
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The boy done good in 2018, however I'm still not entirely convinced about him overall to be perfectly honest.

Although great to see a youngster make the move up to F1, unlike Kvyat who IMHO had his chance and blew it, I do think that maybe 2019 could be a difficult year for STR with what on paper at least looks like a pretty weak driving strength.

Also, I'd of liked to see Hartley kept on again for 2019. Yeah his season wasn't great, but the man has talent to spare and I'd love to have been fully convinced he isn't F1 material before moving him on. Often I think the switch back to open wheel cars, following so long in GT, was massively under appreciated how difficult that is. He started on the back foot, and at a level like F1 it is so difficult to perform at ones best when he's got that sort of deficit to make up, and the loss of confidence / support from the team doesn't help.

Shame, I'd rather have him on the grid that Kvyat, but I'm still very interested to see how they both get on next year :)
 

Viperion

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Also, I'd of liked to see Hartley kept on again for 2019. Yeah his season wasn't great, but the man has talent to spare and I'd love to have been fully convinced he isn't F1 material before moving him on.
I refer you to Hartley's interview after COTA: "I've been told I need to be ahead of my teammate. I was ahead in Singapore before team orders, I was ahead in Russia before the car broke down, I was ahead in Suzuka Qualifying and I was ahead today. So let's see what happens" - he also beat Gasly in Brazil and at Abu Dhabi.

Dude got robbed.
 

Xela1

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What a pitty that there‘s no sentence how much bucks Albon paid for this seat - nothing else. Talent doesn‘t really counts, it‘s the money you bring with.
 

Fat-Alfie

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As a young driver, I think I'd be very wary of getting involved with a Red Bull team. They seem to treat them like gods, or like s**t. One minute they're the next big thing, and then the next minute they are being kicked back to obscurity.

Red Bull are all about Red Bull.
 

Thombike

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Has an interesting background.His Father Nigel used to race in Clios & BTCC
https://www.touringcarimages.com/p503781169/h57A16670#h57a16670


And his Mother was convicted of fraud.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uk...ted-house-jailed-over-9m-car-sales-fraud.html
So, now we know, from where he has money for F1 seat :)
Just joking.
Honestly...I dont think, it's good to have Kviat (with his mentality and sometimes a superstar behaviour) with real youngsteer. We see... But... If Kviat will be slower than for him is really fast finish with F1 career and RB find other driver quickly :)
 

Jonny Austin

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So, now we know, from where he has money for F1 seat :)
Just joking.
Honestly...I dont think, it's good to have Kviat (with his mentality and sometimes a superstar behaviour) with real youngsteer. We see... But... If Kviat will be slower than for him is really fast finish with F1 career and RB find other driver quickly :)
When Kvyat was moved down the ladder from Red Bull to STR I think it killed the momentum in his career.I think Albon will probably be faster & line up with Dan Ticktum in 2020.I think Ticktum would have been in F1 next year but his idiot move hitting another car under the safety car in F4 a few years ago meant he did not qualify for f1 Superlicence.
 

Mike Kadlcak

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F1 drivers comin from fia feeder series start looking more and more like esport gamers these days... Maybe its just me getting old... But look at this guy, Max and Lando! :p