Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Albon says Red Bull promotion feels “surreal”

2019 F1 season

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Alexander Albon has described his sudden promotion from Toro Ross to Red Bull as “surreal” in his first comment after the change was announced this morning.

Red Bull confirmed today Albon has been promoted to Red Bull with immediate effect in place of Pierre Gasly, who will return to Toro Rosso.

In a social media post this evening Albon said it was “surreal to have been given this massive opportunity with Red Bull Racing.”

“[I] can’t thank you enough for believing in me and making this possible,” he added. “It’s a big jump into the deep end, but I’ve got my swimming shorts on!

“Thanks to all the guys at Toro Rosso, especially [team principal] Franz Tost for the massive opportunity in F1 and the never-ending support.”

Albon’s promotion to Red Bull has come just 12 races into his career in the top flight and less than a year since he tested an F1 car for the first time. He will be the least experienced driver to start a race for Red Bull since Robert Doornbos in 2006, who had competed in eight races for Minardi.

In a statement on social media Toro Rosso said they are “excited to see Alex get the opportunity” at Red Bull, “and we’re happy to be working with Pierre Gasly again.” Gasly made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso at the beginning of last season.

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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 “Albon says Red Bull promotion feels “surreal””

  1. Feeling like not being able to sleep for 3 weeks? That’s Albon waiting for FP1. What about kicking the wall for 3 weeks? That’s Gasly. Sleeping like a baby? That’s Max.

    Jokes aside, If VER stays at RBR (who knows… $ talks…), and Honda keeps delivering, Merc Will have a run for their Money in 2020. Imagine two very fast RBR driven by two very fast young kids hunting the Silver arrows. Not leaving room for strategy moves like the one in the last race.

    Imagine a very fast wingman wearing HAM tyres so Max can attack. Maybe Merc Will need a young hot headed gun for the job, one that is not afraid to crash. A certain OCO, maybe…?

  2. The last sentence “Gasly made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso at the beginning of last season.” is incorrect: Gasly made his debut in F1 at the Malaysian GP in 2017 and from then on only missed the US GP.

  3. Personally,
    I wouldn’t care how Kvyat felt about a redbull a-team re-promotion, but Albon is likeable, and I feel good FOR HIM, and want him to feel proud for his achievement!

    And mostly, I wish him the best! Time to shine Alex!

    1. Isn’t he RBR’s first English Driver? ok only half English but Coulthard (Scottish) was the last British.

  4. Good luck to him but my gut says he’s going to be eaten alive, just like Gasly. If he is not immediately on Verstappen’s pace at Spa, the pressure will begin to mount very quickly. And that is a big ask for someone to deal with just 12 races into his career up against THE in form driver on the grid.

    As Mr M Webber always said, F1 is not a finishing school.

    1. I’m sure Alex will be spending the rest of the Summer Break studying RB 15 Drivers Manual 101. If he does his homework then he should do well.

  5. Cristiano Ferreira
    13th August 2019, 8:04

    Well, Red Bull messed up by putting their trust on someone that faced a driver that does not belong in F1 (Hartley). It’s kinda like the situation that Russel is now, because Kubica dont serve as a proper benchmark.

    Like I said 2 months ago, If I were Kvyat, i’d rather search for another team, one that has no ties with Red Bull, like Renault, Haas or even Williams.

    Kvyat will be dumped as soon as the next promising driver from Red Bull Academy emerges. The next season will be crucial to Kvyat if he wants to have any of hope of staying in F1

    1. I disagree. I think Hartley had every right to be in F1. Only he drove too much like he did in the WEC series, which was a mistake. One of the skills a professional driver needs is to adapt to the requirements of the work given to you. So he should have changed his style within a few races, but for some reason he didn’t. Maybe he drove that way because Toro Rosso wanted him to. After all they did make comments praising his fuel conserving style. I believe he also contributed to the development of the Honda engine as well.
      That said, the real problem he had was Gasly’s on track behaviour towards him made it pretty obvious he thought Hartley didn’t deserve to be on the race track. I wouldn’t be surprised if that behaviour continued off the track as well. As it is, the Ferrari drivers are now driving the way Hartley wants them to, and Gasly couldn’t keep up.

  6. I envy Albon’s courage for jumping into that Red Bull after seeing how Kvyat was disposed of and how little patience they had for Gasly. The guy’s got almost no experience in F1 machinery – at least not compared to Kvyat or Gasly, and if I remember right hasn’t even driven on some of the tracks coming up. And he’s got to learn a car that a more experienced driver couldn’t make work in more races than he’s got without testing, and he’s up against arguably the hardest team-mate other than Hamilton?

    Yeah if anything I really admire his courage. I really hope he succeeds.

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