Toro Rosso signing Albon almost quit racing after 2012 Red Bull axe

Newly-confirmed 2019 Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Alexander Albon says he almost quit racing after being dropped by Red Bull in 2012

Toro Rosso signing Albon almost quit racing after 2012 Red Bull axe

Formula 2 frontrunner Albon inked a deal to race for the Nissan e.dams team in Formula E because he initially lacked F1 options for next year, but has been able to extract himself from that deal to sign for Toro Rosso instead.

Albon was a Red Bull Junior when he made his car-racing debut in 2012 (pictured below, fourth from left) but was dropped after a tough first year in Formula Renault.

In a Red Bull interview, he said he almost quit racing entirely.

"It was a difficult year for me for numerous reasons, not least because of my results, but it made me work that much harder," said Albon.

"I was on the brink of stopping racing all together.

"Since then, I knew I had to impress every time I drove and fortunately Dr [Helmut] Marko gave me a second chance."

Albon was only able to race in F2 this year because of help from his DAMS team.

When Albon's F1 deal was confirmed he publicly thanked DAMS and its boss Jean-Paul Driot, who also heads up the outfit's FE arm that will run the works Nissan programme.

Albon said he knew winning over Red Bull motorsport boss Marko was his "only" shot at F1 and the British-Thai driver's run to third in F2, behind fellow 2019 F1 signings George Russell and Lando Norris, convinced Marko to re-sign him.

"I never gave up on it, I needed to believe that it could still happen," Albon said.

"Having said that, I knew that my chance of going to F1 was very slim as I didn't have a proper budget.

"In reality, the only way I was going to have the opportunity was through Toro Rosso/Red Bull, but as we all know, it is not easy to impress Dr Marko!"

Albon said he was told his Toro Rosso deal was confirmed last Monday, after the Abu Dhabi season finale, while he was shopping for a pair of trainers.

"I was beyond excited as I have waited for this moment since I was six years old," said Albon.

"I can't say that it came out of the blue, because I have been trying to resolve my situation with Nissan e.dams to allow me to join Toro Rosso for the past few months.

"I still couldn't believe that it finally happened."

Albon, who won four races in F2 this season, has not driven an F1 car before and did not join Toro Rosso for the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test.

He said he would not set goals for 2019.

"It's more about trying to maximise each race weekend as it comes," said Albon.

"I won't have many days in the car before Melbourne, so it will be very important to be as prepared as possible and take each race as it comes.

"Of course, it would be nice to fight regularly for points and at the sharp end."

shares
comments
Red Bull: Extra 40kW from Renault could've changed 2018 F1 season

Previous article

Red Bull: Extra 40kW from Renault could've changed 2018 F1 season

Next article

Valtteri Bottas will treat every 2019 F1 race like it's his last

Valtteri Bottas will treat every 2019 F1 race like it's his last
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Alex Albon
Teams Red Bull Racing , Toro Rosso
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
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