Alexander Albon closing on 2019 Toro Rosso F1 drive

Nissan Formula E driver Alexander Albon has emerged as favourite to partner Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso for the 2019 Formula 1 season

It's understood that Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko is negotiating with Nissan for the release of the 22-year-old, and that it will become clear in the next few days whether he has been successful.

Nissan is understood to be extremely frustrated with potentially losing a driver to whom it had made an early commitment, and it remains to be seen how the discussions will unfold.

Albon was scheduled to test for Nissan in Valencia this week, alongside team-mate Sebastian Buemi, but he did not appear on track today.

Albon opted for the Formula E route around the time of the Hungarian GP when it appeared that no F1 opportunities would be forthcoming. He signed a multi-year deal with Nissan, whose team is run by DAMS, which he has won four F2 races with in 2018.

However, subsequent movements in the driver market such as Daniel Ricciardo's decision to join Renault - which led to Pierre Gasly's promotion from Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing - left the Faenza team short of options.

Albon was backed by Red Bull in karting and Formula Renault, but was dropped after 2012. However since then he has been rehabilitated in the eyes of Marko, who has shown he's prepared to change his mind by re-hiring Kvyat, and giving Brendon Hartley his F1 chance late last year.

If Albon does make the move then he will join fellow F2 frontrunners George Russell and Lando Norris in moving straight into F1 race seats, while Hartley would be left without a drive.

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