Alex Albon1996-03-23 (age 27)
Alex Albon Biography
It’s been a rollercoaster four years since Alex Albon embarked on his Formula 1 debut with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2019.
A tenure headlined initially by his promotion-turned-relegation within the Red Bull ranks - ultimately leading to a stint on the F1 sidelines altogether in 2021 - a series of eye-catching performances on Albon’s return to the top flight with Williams in 2022 would go a long way to reaffirm his credentials.
Born and raised in the UK, Alex Albon races under the Thai flag - the nationality of his mother - making him only the second driver from the south-east Asian nation to compete at the pinnacle of motorsport and the first in almost 70 years.
Inducted into the Red Bull Junior Team from 2012, Albon made his single-seater debut that same year in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Though three seasons spent racing in the competitive series didn’t yield any victories - leading to him losing Red Bull’s backing - third overall in 2014 preceded his promotion to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship the following year, proving competitive in his rookie campaign.
Having joined forces with ART Grand Prix for his switch to the GP3 Series, Albon emerged as a reckoned force, engaging in a season-long tussle with highly-rated Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc. Four wins kept the championship battle alive to a season finale showdown in Abu Dhabi, though Albon would ultimately settle for the runners-up spot.
Stepping up to the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2016 with ART, though Albon failed to sparkle in his maiden campaign en route to tenth overall, a switch to DAMS for 2017 brought greater success with four wins spurring him on to third in the overall standings behind rivals - and friends - George Russell and Lando Norris.
It was a performance worthy of reigniting his relationship with Red Bull, who subsequently hired him to replace Pierre Gasly in the Scuderia Toro Rosso team for his 2019 F1 debut.
Alex Albon, Williams FW44
Photo by: Williams
2022 - Williams Racing
19th - 4 points
After a year spent begrudgingly in a reserve driver role at Red Bull Racing, which he dovetailed alongside a season spent racing in the DTM, Albon returned to F1 with Williams Racing for 2022, in part thanks to the recommendation of his friend and would-be predecessor, George Russell.
Freed from his ties with Red Bull, Albon set about re-establishing his reputation at the highest level, a task made all the more challenging by his time spent away from F1, not to mention the modest competitiveness of the Williams-Mercedes FW44.
Nevertheless, Albon got his head down to quickly establish a performance advantage over Nicholas Latifi before making headlines by converting a bold strategy into his first point of the season in Australia. In a superb display of tyre preservation, Albon nursed his Williams all the way to lap 57 of 58 before completing his mandatory pit-stop, emerging from the pit-lane to start the final lap in tenth position.
A season’s best result of ninth place followed two rounds later in the Miami Grand Prix, but while Albon cracked the points on just one further occasion - a run to tenth in the Belgian Grand Prix - his steely efforts in the tricky FW44 earned him acclaim and with it, a multi-year contract with the British team.
2020 - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
7th - 105 points
Following his unexpected mid-season promotion to Red Bull Racing in 2019, Albon came into the delayed 2020 season - only his second in F1 - amid heightened expectations of proving a closer match for team-mate Max Verstappen than Pierre Gasly had been.
However, like the Frenchman, Albon struggled to find his feet in the Red Bull-Honda RB16 and found himself lagging well adrift of Verstappen, both in qualifying and the races.
Despite a trio of top five finishes in the opening five races, the general performance gulf between Red Bull and the competition (with the exception of the dominant Mercedes) flattered to deceive some of his results, but a career first podium in the Tuscan Grand Prix eased some of the pressure.
However, with no notable improvement in results during the second-half of the year, Red Bull’s coyness over his future as winter approached triggered talk of him being replaced by free agent Sergio Perez.
With every other seat on the 2021 F1 grid accounted for, Red Bull was left with a direct choice of either retaining Albon or snapping up the seasoned Racing Point race winner over its protege.
With Perez’s last-to-first maiden success having lifted him ahead of the Thai racer in the final standings, Red Bull subsequently selected the Mexican, leaving Albon on the sidelines after only two seasons in F1.
Alex Albon, Toro Rosso STR14
Photo by: Erik Junius
2019 - Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
8th - 92 points
Despite turning heads with his efforts in F2, Albon’s candidacy for a 2019 F1 debut was the unexpected knock-on effect of Daniel Ricciardo’s exit to McLaren, to be replaced at Red Bull by Pierre Gasly.
Subsequently picked to assume Gasly’s vacant seat in the sister Toro Rosso outfit alongside the experienced Daniil Kvyat for his rookie campaign, Albon swiftly demonstrated his value with a run to the points in eighth at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
More top tens followed in China and Monaco - where Albon notched up his maiden Q3 appearance - before going on to secure his best finish for Toro Rosso at the German Grand Prix with his run to sixth.
Another top ten result in Hungary sent Albon into the summer break with his stock soaring among Red Bull’s top brass, leading to speculation of a shock promotion to the ‘A team’ in place of the struggling Gasly.
Speculation soon became confirmation, as Albon emerged from the summer hiatus as a fully-fledged Red Bull Racing driver.
Tasked with getting solid results under his belt during the remaining seven events, Albon delivered with a series of top six finishes, even if his bid for a maiden podium during the Brazilian Grand Prix was scuppered by Lewis Hamilton’s bungled overtaking attempt on the penultimate lap while running second.
Nevertheless, the strong end to the year took Albon past Gasly and into eighth position in the overall standings, thus earning him a contract for a full 2020 F1 campaign.
Albon: losing chicane that “ruined” Spain will improve racing
Albon: losing chicane that “ruined” Spain will improve racing Albon: losing chicane that “ruined” Spain will improve racing
Vowles: Williams encourages Albon to speak his mind on F1 radio
Vowles: Williams encourages Albon to speak his mind on F1 radio Vowles: Williams encourages Albon to speak his mind on F1 radio
Albon explains angry F1 radio messages during Miami GP
Albon explains angry F1 radio messages during Miami GP Albon explains angry F1 radio messages during Miami GP
Albon: Mastery of F1's tyre "dark art" key to Australian GP Q3 surprise
Albon: Mastery of F1's tyre "dark art" key to Australian GP Q3 surprise Albon: Mastery of F1's tyre "dark art" key to Australian GP Q3 surprise
Why Jeddah changes could test F1 track limits rules
Why Jeddah changes could test F1 track limits rules Why Jeddah changes could test F1 track limits rules
Williams winter F1 gains second only to Aston Martin - Albon
Williams winter F1 gains second only to Aston Martin - Albon Williams winter F1 gains second only to Aston Martin - Albon
Albon: Front wing damage robbed me of Bahrain F1 Q3 chance
Albon: Front wing damage robbed me of Bahrain F1 Q3 chance Albon: Front wing damage robbed me of Bahrain F1 Q3 chance
Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge
Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge
Albon warns Williams has "long road ahead" to recover in F1
Albon warns Williams has "long road ahead" to recover in F1 Albon warns Williams has "long road ahead" to recover in F1