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Albon completes 2019 grid

NEWS STORY
26/11/2018

Toro Rosso has announced that Alexander Albon will drive for the team in 2019 alongside Daniil Kvyat.

The 22-year-old British/Thai driver has had an impressive season in Formula 2 this year and, up until last weekend in Abu Dhabi, he was one of only two drivers who could have won the title. A start line collision in the feature race ended his hopes, but he still finished third overall with a total of four wins.

Like all his contemporaries, Albon started racing in karts winning various championships. He joined the Red Bull programme in 2012. He had a great season in 2016, when he finished second in GP3 to his team-mate 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 F1 grid since Prince Birabongse, who raced in the early Fifties.

"Alexander had an impressive Formula 2 season in 2018," said Franz Tost. "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 1. Scuderia Toro Rosso is very much looking forward to 2019, as with Daniil and Alex we have two young, very strong and competitive drivers."

"It's such an amazing feeling to know that I'm in Formula 1 next year," added 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," referring to the fact that at one point, like Brendon Hartley and Daniil Kvyat, he was dropped from the Red Bull Driver Programme.

"I've always been motorsport mad and since I first got in a car it's been my dream to be in Formula 1. To be given this opportunity is just incredible."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 26/11/2018 17:26

"All the best to Albon as he has had a very good F2 season however (trying to take my bias for a Kiwi driver out of the equation) I think Hartley should have been given a bit more of go considering all the issues Toro Rosso has had this season (and a half).

Considering Hartley being out, Mercedes domination (not their fault), stupid penalties, DRS, threats to traditional tracks, McLaren being crap, and some other core issues F1 has, I think I'm out as a "dedicated fan" now, certainly regarding watching F1 (it moves to a streaming service here in NZ next year, thank goodness for Pitpass).

Thanks to Brendan Hartley for giving it a go, doing the best he could do and having a better end to the season too. Unfortunately, not enough pace to get the runs on the board compared to Gasley who did a better job at times. That's how it looks from the outside though I'm pretty sure it was different on the inside of the team.

All the best to Albon and for his sake I hope he completely dominates his team mate, and all the best for Kvyat and I hope for his sake that he completely dominates his team mate. No doubt we will find out both driver's futures by the third race of the season."

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