Alexander Albon F1 career – Made his Formula 1 debut with Toro Rosso in 2019. The Thai-British driver left a lasting impression, prompting Helmut Marko to promote him to Red Bull Racing during the summer break as a replacement for Pierre Gasly, who, in turn, moved in the opposite direction. Albon continued as Max Verstappen’s teammate at the Austrian outfit in the 2020 season. However, in 2021, he assumed a reserve role. In 2022, Albon is set to compete for Williams.
Alexander Albon inherited his passion for racing from his family background: his father, a former British racing driver, and his mother, a dealer in exclusive cars. Alexander embarked on his racing career at the young age of eight, starting in karting. He quickly amassed several championships, winning the Super Honda championship in 2006. Between 2008 and 2009, Albon clinched titles in four different KF3 championships. The following year, in 2010, he secured victory in the CIK-FIA World Championship and became the European champion in KF3. In 2011, he achieved second place twice, trailing behind the Dutch driver Nyck de Vries, in the WSK Euro Series and the Karting World Championship.
Following his outstanding performances in karting, Alexander Albon transitioned to single-seaters in 2012 at the age of sixteen, starting with the Formula Renault 2.0 series. While his karting career soared, his debut in Formula racing proved disastrous. In his first year, Alexander failed to score a single point, finishing 38th in the championship. However, he did manage to secure the fifth position at the Red Bull Ring. The following year showed some improvement, but Albon still only secured the sixteenth position. Surprisingly, the Red Bull Ring continued to be a favorable track for the driver, as he earned his first pole position in Formula racing there in 2013.
In 2014, Alexander turned things around, finishing third in the championship with 117 points, trailing behind De Vries and Dennis Olsen. After this successful season, Albon moved on to Formula 3 in 2015. Once again, adapting to a new car proved challenging for him. With five podium finishes and 187 points, Albon secured seventh place in the championship. The next season, he decided to compete in GP3, partnering with Charles Leclerc. Here, he fared better, achieving seven podiums, including four victories, and finishing second in the championship, behind Leclerc.
Alexander Albon’s successes did not go unnoticed. In 2017, he made his debut in the Formula 2 championship, the stepping stone to F1, driving for ART Grand Prix, as he did in GP3. However, he finished tenth in the standings, despite securing two podium finishes at the Red Bull Ring. In 2018, at the age of 22, Albon improved significantly, finishing third in the Formula 2 championship, trailing behind Lando Norris and the champion, George Russell.
Albon in Formula 1
Back in 2012, when Alexander was still competing in Formula Renault 2.0 under the Thai flag, Red Bull had already included him in the Red Bull Junior Team. However, due to disappointing results, the association was terminated after just one year, and Albon was no longer part of the Red Bull Junior Team. After excelling in the FIA Formula 2, the Austrians signed a contract with Albon once again in 2018.
In the following season, 2019, Alexander had the opportunity to race in Formula 1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso, alongside Daniil Kvyat. In the first half of the year, Albon impressed, scoring points in five out of twelve races, with a sixth-place finish as his best result. On the track, he showcased fearlessness and proved himself as an attacking driver.
Albon’s Promotion to Red Bull Racing
While Alexander excelled at Toro Rosso, things were not going well for Pierre Gasly at Red Bull; the French driver’s performance was subpar. After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Red Bull decided to transfer Gasly back to Toro Rosso. This decision created a vacancy at Red Bull, and many expected Daniil Kvyat, who had been demoted to Toro Rosso and eventually returned to F1, to fill the spot. However, the Austrians favored Alexander Albon.
At the age of 23, Albon was one of the younger drivers on the grid. After twelve races, he made a swift transition to Red Bull. Although Albon did not have a contract with the team beyond 2019, he was determined to secure his place. This meant making his debut at Spa. After another half-year at Toro Rosso, Albon moved to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. In his first Grand Prix at Spa, Albon finished fifth.
Red Bull Debut at Spa Francorchamps
Alexander Albon made his debut at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Belgian Ardennes. Despite a grid penalty, he managed to secure the fifth position. He replicated this performance at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, where he had to start from the back due to a grid penalty. In qualifying, Albon struggled to match Verstappen’s pace until the races in Russia and beyond.
In Japan, Albon crosses the finish line in fourth place. Helmut Marko and Christian Horner express satisfaction with his performance, but Albon himself is not content. He deems the gap to Mercedes (Lewis Hamilton) too substantial, with Hamilton finishing 46 seconds ahead of Albon. Unfortunately, Verstappen had to retire and received a Did Not Finish (DNF) due to a collision with Charles Leclerc.
Alexander Albon F1 career and Beyond
In late 2019, Red Bull Racing confirmed that Alexander Albon would continue to drive for the team in 2020. He was chosen over Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, who would drive for sister team AlphaTauri (formerly Toro Rosso) in 2020. However, Albon did not demonstrate enough during the 2020 season to secure his seat in Formula 1.
For the 2021 season, the Thai driver was replaced by Sergio Perez, who joined from Racing Point. Despite losing his race seat, Albon remained connected to Red Bull Racing, taking on a test and reserve role with the team. This allowed him to stay involved with the Austrian outfit, possibly eyeing a return in 2022.
Albon in Action in the DTM
With his absence from the regular Formula 1 grid in 2021, Albon found part of his future in the DTM (German Touring Car Masters). Whenever the Formula 1 schedule permitted, he competed in the German touring car series to gain valuable race experience. Additionally, Albon served as the official reserve driver for both AlphaTauri and Red Bull Racing.
Alexander Albon F1 career – Transition to Williams
On September 8, 2021, Williams officially announced that they saw Albon as the perfect successor to George Russell, who had moved to Mercedes. Albon terminated his collaboration with Red Bull, definitively making the switch to the British team. For the 2022 season, he joined Williams alongside Nicholas Latifi.
Alexander Albon F1 career Alexander Albon F1 career Alexander Albon F1 career
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