Alexander Albon has today been announced as a Toro Rosso driver the forthcoming 2019 Formula 1 campaign.
Albon finished the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship in third place, behind eventual champion George Russell and Lando Norris – both of whom will also be on the F1 grid next season with Williams and McLaren respectively.
Albon will partner the returning Daniil Kvyat for his debut season in what looks like an interesting line-up for the Italian squad. This of course means, New Zealander Bredon Hartley will most likely be left without a drive for the 2019 season, despite some strong displays in what has been a hard-inaugural season.
Having been a part of the Red Bull Junior programme from a young age, Albon was dropped from it in 2012 but has not given up on his dream of becoming a full-time F1 driver.
Albon told the Official Formula 1 website, “It’s such an amazing feeling to know that I’m in Formula 1 next year. 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.”
Albon continued, “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 1. To be given this opportunity is just incredible.”
Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost commented, “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 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.”
The 2019 season will commence on the weekend of the 15th -17th March at the Albert Park Circuit in Australia where we will see how the new drivers get on with their new teams.
By Jordan Hollands