Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Tost hopes inexperienced Albon will “surprise”

2019 F1 season

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Alexander Albon, who will drive a Formula 1 car for the second time in his career in today’s test, has been tipped to “surprise” in his debut season by his team principal.

Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost said he is encouraged by the potential shown by Albon, who has stepped up to F1 having finished third in Formula 2 last year.

“All the meetings I had so far with Alex keep me quite optimistic,” Tost told RaceFans and other media at the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday.

“I expect that he could become a positive surprise of the year because people don’t know him so much and we observed him last year and also the years before.”

Albon, who was dropped from the Red Bull Junior Team in 2012, compared favourably to new Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc earlier in his career, added Tost.

“We must not forget he was successful in Formula Three in GP3, he was together with Leclerc, he also could beat him a couple of times. And in Formula Two he showed real some good races, good overtaking manouevres.

“He won four races and in the simulator he did a good job. [On Tuesday] he is sitting the second time in the car because the first time was in Misano during the filming day and he liked it and I am more than optimistic that he will do a good job.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 10 comments on “Tost hopes inexperienced Albon will “surprise””

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      19th February 2019, 8:24

      With Russell and Norris making their debut and Kubica returning, Albon had flown under the radar somewhat. That might very well be in his advantage. After last year, expectations for Toro Rosso won’t be to high and I think Albon might surprise positively

    2. Yep – he certainly surprised them this morning.

    3. I wish STR would’ve kept last season’s clothing color scheme design.

      1. Agreed, there 2018 kit looked ace. Still, look on the Brightside: now its out of date us fans can pick up the kit relatively cheap in the sales.

        1. @geemac True, but I already have a copy of each of the following three: The team-line t-shirt, hoodie, as well as, the softshell jacket. One of my all-time favorite F1 team clothing designs along with the 2011 predominantly black Vodafone Mclaren-Mercedes clothing, and the 2010 RBR equivalent although the 2015 one with the Red Bull text sideways on the backside was decent as well.

    4. they should have gotten Wehrlein in that seat, since he is no longer part of any Mercedes programme. Albon wasn’t a rising star in junior series, hard to believe he’ll start showing his talent now. He’s only chance is if Kviat underperforms again and makes him look better than expected.

      1. We could all argue that Wehrlein should be in F1 still but your comments about Albon make me question your knowledge about how good he actually was in F3, GP3 and F2. He slowly improved as the years went by and last season in F2, he proved himself more than worthy and was an absolute joy to watch. And your comments strike me in the sense that you don’t believe a driver can actually improve. Look at Sergio Perez. In all honestly, up until his second year in GP2 in 2010, his junior formula career was very mediocre. Now, he’s been a stalwart in F1 for many years now and is a very talented driver. I reckon Albon is gonna price you wrong, mate

        1. Prove* not price

        2. @mattypf1: Yes, you’re roght, I don’t know exactly “how good” he was in junior series because honestly i have not watched all these races, but I’ve seen quite a few and he didn’t make me think “wow, is kid is really good”, but that is obviously subjective. What is not so subjective, is the actual stats:

          European F3 (2015): 7th overall
          GP3 (2016): 2nd overall (behind teammate LeClerc, in the best car of the series – ART)
          F2 (2017): 10th overall
          F2 (2018): 3rd overall (behind Russel and Norris)

          That ofcourse depends on the cars he’s driven, but i’d say he is closer to mediocre than a rising star (as i stated in my original post, which i still stand by).

    5. This might be pedantic but… Albon shares British & Thai parents, while he was born and lived most of his life in Britain… so why is he always referred to as Thai…? I could understand if Thai people were ‘claiming’ him as their own (although I have yet to find a single Thai person who has even heard of him…) but not why the ‘British’ media seems intent on dismissing him – nationality-wise…

    Comments are closed.