[F1 2019 VIDEO FEATURE] ALEXANDER ALBON: IMPRESSIVE DEBUT

2012 was a great season for Red Bull Racing. The squad earned its third of four-straight F1 World Championship doubles with Sebastian Vettel, in the monstrous V8-powered RB8.

And a young Alexander Albon joined its junior team.

Seven years later, he suited up for the brand’s top squad after a “surprise switch” with Pierre Gasly ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix… 

SOUNDBITE (English) ALEXANDER ALBON,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“So I was in Austria and Dr Marko he gave me the news. The reason I was there was, in my opinion at the beginning, wasn’t for that. It was just a little bit of speaking about next year and even how this year was going but 30 minutes into the meeting he told me the news and yeah it was a shock.”

His promotion to Red Bull Racing came after just 12 races into his rookie F1 campaign with Toro Rosso, even quicker than his new teammate Max Verstappen who spent 23 races there.

But while the Dutchman won on debut in Spain 2016 after both Mercedes crashed at Turn 4, Albon finished an impressive fifth at Spa… where he quickly got to grips with the car and team.

SOUNDBITE (English) ALEXANDER ALBON,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“It’s kind of that fly on the wall thing, where you’re especially in Spa it will just be about listening around and seeing kind of how the team are structured, and see really how everyone interacts with each other and from there learn from Max [Verstappen], learn from the team and we’ll go from there.”

It also proves the faith that Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost had in signing Albon, pulling him out of a Nissan e.Dams Formula E drive at the eleventh hour to drive alongside Daniil Kvyat.

SOUNDBITE (English) FRANZ TOST,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, TORO ROSSO:
“Alex Albon is a newcomer, 22 years old. But he won in GP3, he won in Formula 2 last year,  he was fighting for the championship - that means he should have the talent and capability to become a successful Formula 1 driver. I am very optimistic regarding Alex.”

With a solid Red Bull Racing debut behind him, Albon is on the right path to do what Gasly couldn’t: close the gap to Verstappen. If he can do that, his future is assured.