D he Formula 1 driver field for the The 70th season of the premier class is complete. Assuming Lance Stroll is confirmed by Force India, which nobody questions. Alexander Albon is taking over from Brendon Hartley at Toro Rosso. This was announced by Red Bull's junior racing team on Monday evening (November 26th, 2018) after the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The second driver at Toro Rosso is Daniil Kvyat, who the team had already announced on the sidelines of the GP Russia.
Albon prevailed against second candidate Daniel Ticktum, who was only given outsider opportunities. In contrast to the second of the Formula 3 European Championship, Albon has already collected all the points necessary for the super license. Ticktum is still five points missing. He can earn it in peace and quiet in New Zealand this winter.
Second chance for Albon
The 22-year-old Albon finished second in the GP3 championship in 2016 behind team-mate Charles Leclerc . At this year's Formula 2 season finale in Abu Dhabi, he was the only driver besides George Russell to have a title chance, albeit a very small one. Russell won the championship, DAMS driver Albon slipped to third place behind Lando Norris. All three will meet again in Formula 1 next season. Russell drives for Williams, Norris for McLaren.
The name Albon appeared late on the list of candidates. The first rumors about him were sparked around the Japanese GP in the paddock. Albon had actually already signed a contract for Nissan in Formula E. The contract was released before being signed with Toro Rosso.
Similar to beforeOver a year with his predecessor Hartley, Red Bull's head of motorsport Helmut Marko Albon gives a second chance. The London-born man with Thai roots, who also drives with a Thai racing license, was removed from Red Bull's youth program in 2012 after just one year. 'From then on it was a rocky road to Formula 1,' says Albon. “I have to thank Red Bull and Doctor Marko for the second chance. I worked very hard for it. ”
Like the Hartley case back then, the Albon case shows that Red Bull's youth program is currently rather sparsely populated when it comes to potential candidates for Formula 1. Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost is pleased that his driver duo is finally complete. “Alex convinced us in Formula 2 with his four race wins. We are impressed by the way it passes. With him and Daniil we have a young, strong and competitive duo. “