Alexander Albon is most underrated driver - F2 rival George Russell

Future Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell believes that Toro Rosso F1-seat favourite and Formula 2 title rival Alexander Albon is the most underrated driver in junior single-seater racing

Alexander Albon is most underrated driver - F2 rival George Russell

Russell and Albon enter the this weekend's Abu Dhabi F2 finale with ART Grand Prix driver Russell leading by 37 points with 48 available.

Speaking to the Autosport podcast before the title climax gets under way, Russell praised DAMS rival Albon for coming through adversity in a career that has included disappointing outcomes with both Red Bull and what was then Lotus's junior programmes.

"Alex is a great driver," said Russell.

"Apart from his campaign in GP3 he's had a very tough junior career to be honest, and I think he's one of, if not the, most underrated driver in junior formulas.

"I'm not too sure what the latest is with the whole Toro Rosso gossip but I think it would be fantastic for him to get that opportunity.

"He's a great driver and he deserves that opportunity."

Albon took four wins on his way to second in GP3 with ART Grand Prix in 2016 in his rookie season, but struggled with the same team in F2 last year - taking 10th in the points and failing to win a race.

The British-born Thai driver has turned his F2 performance around since joining DAMS for 2018, taking four wins and three poles, and overshadowing his Force India junior team-mate Nicholas Latifi.

Though Albon still faces a considerable points deficit, Russell pointed out that at least meant he could take a straightforward approach.

"He has nothing to lose," said Russell.

"He knows what he has to do, he has to go and perform to the maximum every single time.

"We just have to get through the weekend, we have to make sure the car is always correct, the weight limit is right, we don't get excluded for a silly mistake and we make sure reliability is best prepared as possible.

"We've only had one weekend this year where we've not scored any points and that was [in part] due to a reliability issue. Apart from that we're in a very good position."

Russell added it was important on a personal level to sign off from F2 with the title, despite already being confirmed at Williams next year.

"For me it's extremely important," said Russell.

"You're only ever going to have this opportunity once to win Formula 2 in your rookie season.

"To go back on the stats in years to come, and say 'I won the F2 championship off the back of, again, winning GP3 in my rookie year, would be incredible.

"To be among the names who did win it in their rookie year, [Lewis] Hamilton, [Nico] Rosberg, [Nico] Hulkenberg, it's a great bunch to be associated with."

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Series FIA F2
Drivers Alex Albon , George Russell
Author Jack Benyon
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