Ferrari signing Leclerc hopes Albon gets 2019 Toro Rosso F1 seat

Ferrari-bound Charles Leclerc hopes the Toro Rosso Formula 1 team will sign Alexander Albon for 2019

Ferrari signing Leclerc hopes Albon gets 2019 Toro Rosso F1 seat

Albon is second in Formula 2 at the moment and sits between two confirmed 2019 F1 drivers in the standings, behind George Russell (Williams) and ahead of Lando Norris (McLaren).

The British-Thai driver signed a three-year contract with the Nissan e.dams Formula E team in the summer to race in the electric single-seater series, but has been targeted by Red Bull to partner Daniil Kvyat in its junior team in F1 next year.

Red Bull is understood to have settled on Albon over current Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley and Albon's F1 move is believed to only be waiting on formal confirmation from Nissan that his FE deal is annulled.

Leclerc fought Albon for the 2016 GP3 title, prevailing at the final round, and raced against him in European Formula 3 in 2015.

Asked if there was anyone he had encountered in junior formula who deserved an F1 shot, Leclerc said: "I'm not sure yet if he's not going to make it, but for me Alex Albon.

"He was really strong. I really hope he will take the seat he is rumoured [to be taking]."

Albon was a Red Bull Junior early in his career but was dropped after his first disappointing year in Formula Renault Eurocup, then spent three years as a Lotus junior driver.

His impending Red Bull reunion is believed to come with financial support from Thailand - his mother's home country and the place Dietrich Mateschitz found his inspiration for the Red Bull energy drink.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said at the previous race in Mexico that Hartley was not doing enough to keep his seat at the moment but claimed a decision would not be made until after the Abu Dhabi finale.

It is believed that confirmation of Albon joining the team may now come before then.

Speaking to Autosport ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend, Tost would not be drawn on the suggestion Albon would be announced before Abu Dhabi.

However, he did acknowledge that the four-time race winner in F2 this season has been impressive.

"Albon is currently second in the championship," said Tost.

"I must say that especially the second half of the season he showed really some very, very good races, with good overtaking manoeuvres."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton: Some Mercedes F1 struggles 'still a mystery'

Previous article

Lewis Hamilton: Some Mercedes F1 struggles 'still a mystery'

Next article

Why it's payback time for F1 2018's big injustice

Why it's payback time for F1 2018's big injustice
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc , Alex Albon
Teams Ferrari , Toro Rosso
Author Roberto Chinchero
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021