Alex Albon keeps Red Bull drive for Formula 1 2020 season alongside Max Verstappen
Bures-raised Formula 1 rookie talent Alex Albon will continue to race with Red Bull next season after the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team confirmed him as their second driver for the 2020 season alongside Max Verstappen.
It comes after the 23-year-old was promoted from junior team Scuderia Toro Rosso to swap places with Frenchman Pierre Gasly, having picked up five top-10 finishes in the first 12 races of his debut campaign.
The former Nayland Littlegarth School pupil grabbed his chance with both hands by securing seven consecutive finishes inside the top six including being named Driver of the Day at the recent USA Grand Prix, where he battled his way from the back to claim ffith.
Red Bull Racing's team principle Christian Horner had told Sky Sports F1 in Texas it was "his seat to lose" while champion driver Lewis Hamilton recently said Albon has "got a bright future ahead of him and I hope Red Bull give him the support over the years".
The speculation surrounding the dual Thai-Briton, who drives under a Thai licence, the country of his mother's birth, but resides in Milton Keynes by the Red Bull team base, has finally now been put to bed with confirmation of his move up from Toro Rosso for 2020.
Horner said: “Alex has performed extremely well since his debut with the team in Belgium and his results – seven finishes in the top-six – speak for themselves.
"It’s extremely hard to deny that level of consistency and in tandem with a growing reputation as a tenacious, fiercely committed racer, Alex has proved that he fully deserves to continue his progress with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
"There is plenty of potential still to unlock and we look forward to seeing Alex alongside Max in 2020.”
Albon, who earned his shot in motorsport’s elite event after second place in the 2016 GP3 Series and third in the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship, has actually accumulated more points than highly-rated team-mate Verstappen since he came in.
I am really excited to be partnering Max again for next year and I know how fortunate I am to be given this opportunity - Alex Albon
His 68 points for Red Bull, which leave him with his Toro Rosso tally sixth in the Drivers' Championship ahead of the 2019 season's penultimate race at Interlagos, Brazil this weekend, is 14 better than Verstappen's. But the Dutchman has had some compromised races in that period.
Albon said he is not underestimating how big the latest news is in his career.
“I am really excited to be partnering Max again for next year and I know how fortunate I am to be given this opportunity," he said.
"I’m hugely thankful that Red Bull have put their trust in me and believed in my results since I joined the team and for them to keep me in the car next year is a big deal.
"This year has been an incredible year for me and getting the call-up to Red Bull mid-season was already a big step, so now I will use the learnings from this season and use the experience to improve and fight at the front in 2020."
Red Bull are currently third in the 2019 Constructors' Championship Standings.
More by this authorRussell Claydon