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Alexander Albon Ansusinha (Thai: อเล็กซานเดอร์ อัลบอน อังศุสิงห์, born 23 March 1996) is a Thai-British racing driver, currently driving in Formula One for Red Bull Racing under the Thai flag. He raced for Toro Rosso for the first half of 2019, before being promoted to Red Bull for the second half of the season, replacing Pierre Gasly who has returned to Toro Rosso.

Alexander Albon
2019 Formula One tests Barcelona, Albon (47200030682).jpg
Albon at the Barcelona pre-season testing in 2019
BornAlexander Albon Ansusinha
(1996-03-23) 23 March 1996 (age 23)
London, England, United Kingdom
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityThailand Thai
2019 teamRed Bull Racing-Honda
Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda
Car number23
Entries17 (17 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points64
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry2019 Australian Grand Prix
Last entry2019 Japanese Grand Prix
Previous series
20172018
2016
2015

20122014
20132014
2012
FIA Formula 2 Championship
GP3 Series
FIA Formula 3 European Championship
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC
Formula Renault 2.0 Alps

Albon started his career by racing karts at a very young age due to encouragement from his father, Nigel Albon. He enjoyed success in karting between 2006 and 2010 including titles at the 2006 Super 1 Honda National Championship (Cadet Class),[1] 2009 Super 1 Honda National Championship (KF3 Class) and the 2010 European Championship (KF3 Class).

After becoming part of the Red Bull Junior Team in 2012[2] he was promoted to open-wheel cars in the form of a seat with EPIC Racing during the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 2012 season, finishing 38th out of 49 in his debut year. He stayed in Formula Renault 2.0 for two more seasons having secured a seat with KTR, finishing 16th in 2013 and 3rd in 2014. In 2015 Albon switched to European Formula 3, finishing 7th overall. A year later, ART signed Albon to race alongside Charles Leclerc in the GP3 Series,[3] finishing second in the drivers championship only to his teammate. Albon was given a seat once again by ART in 2017[4] to race in the FIA Formula 2 Championship where he finished his maiden year in 10th position.[5] After making his 2019 Formula One début with Toro Rosso, on the 12 August 2019 Red Bull announced that Albon would replace Pierre Gasly in the Red Bull senior team with the swap effective from the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Albon was born at the Portland Hospital in London, England. His father, Nigel Albon is a former racing driver who participated in the British Touring Car Championship and Porsche Carrera Cup.[7] His mother, Kankamol, is a native of Thailand.[8] Growing up, Albon spent time at Ipswich School in Ipswich, Suffolk, before leaving the school to pursue his professional racing career. Albon is a Buddhist who attends Buddhapadipa in Wimbledon, London.

CareerEdit

KartingEdit

Albon started competitively racing karts in 2005 at the age of 8, competing locally and winning his local Hoddesdon Championship. In 2006 Albon started racing in the cadet class, finishing 1st at the Kartmasters British Grand Prix and participating in the Super 1 National Honda Cadet Championship finishing 1st in 2006 and 2nd in 2007. In 2008 he moved up to the KF3 class where he stayed until 2010. During this time Albon won the Kartmasters British Grand Prix, Formula Kart Stars Championship, KF Winter Series, Super 1 National KF3 Championship, CIK-FIA World Cup and CIK-FIA European Championship.

In 2011 Albon graduated to KF1 placing 2nd in the WSK Euro Series and 2nd at the CIK-FIA World Championship.

Formula Renault 2.0Edit

EPIC Racing (2012)

From karting Albon graduated to the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup series where he drove for EPIC Racing in 2012 alongside Kevin Giovesi, Konstantin Tereschenko, Kevin Jörg, Dennis Wusthoff and Christof von Grunigen and finished 38th out of 49 in the championship after having a tough year and being unable to score points.

KTR (2013–2014)

In 2013 Albon joined KTR to race in the 2013 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season alongside Yu Kanamaru and Ignazio D'Agosto finishing 16th out of 36 in the championship. Albon managed to secure one fastest lap and one pole position in the 2013 season, both of them coming at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. He finished the 2013 season with 22 points. In 2014 Albon raced alongside Gregor Ramsay, Jules Gounon and Callan O'Keefe and enjoyed a much more successful year. He was once again unable to find a win at any of the 14 races but managed to get one pole position at the Nürburgring and finished 3rd in the drivers championship with 117 points.

European Formula 3Edit

 
Albon at Spa in 2015, European Formula 3 Championship

In 2015, Albon switched to European Formula 3, racing at Signature with teammate Dorian Boccolacci. He finished seventh overall, with two pole positions (scored at the Norisring), 5 podiums (including four rookie wins) and 187 points overall.

GP3 SeriesEdit

In December 2015, Albon partook in post season testing with ART Grand Prix. In 2016, Nyck de Vries confirmed Albon as racing in the 2016 season.[9] ART signed Albon later that week and he claimed four wins and finished as runner up in the championship to teammate Charles Leclerc.

FIA Formula 2 ChampionshipEdit

ART Grand Prix (2017)Edit

 
Albon at Red Bull Ring in 2018

In February 2017, Albon graduated to the FIA Formula 2 series, reuniting with ART.[10] His teammate for the season would be Nobuharu Matsushita, who at the time was also signed as a development driver for McLaren.

He made his debut at Bahrain, where he started in 9th place on the starting grid for the feature race and finished 6th. For the sprint race Albon qualified 3rd on the grid, behind Luca Ghiotto and his teammate, Matsushita. However, mechanical problems forced Matsushita to start from the pitlane. As a result, Albon shot into pole position on the lead up to T1, Albon did not close the door sufficiently and Ghiotto retook the lead on the brakes at the tight right hander. After struggling for grip for the majority of the race, Albon finished in 7th position.[11]

At the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain Albon placed 3rd on the provisional starting grid for the feature race. Leclerc led into turn one, but found himself under fire from Ghiotto and Albon after locking up. Leclerc began to pull away from Ghiotto, who began to fall into the clutches of Albon, who subsequently made a move into turn one and took second place from Ghiotto. Leclerc pitted on lap seven, along with Matsushita, leaving Albon with the lead of the race. Canamasas ground to a halt on lap 10 owing to problems with the car. Despite this, he did not pull off the track to retire – instead remaining on the track and gesturing to the marshals asking for a push-start. The dangerous position of the car initially brought out the virtual safety car and eventually, the safety car itself. As the race resumed, Leclerc and Ghiotto began to scythe through the pack. Rowland eventually pressured Albon into a mistake to take the lead of the race, although both still had an impending pitstop to make. With the fresh rubber, Albon and Rowland were staging a comeback with both drivers challenging for the podium toward the latter stages of the race, Albon later finished the race in 5th position. In the sprint race, Albon started 4th on the grid and enjoyed a well fought battle with Charles Leclerc for the majority of the race and after battling for a number of laps, Leclerc finally passed Albon for fifth place. Later in the race however Albon dropped back, finishing the race in 8th position.

At the Monaco Grand Prix, Albon qualified second on the grid with a time of 1:19.321 seconds. In qualifying, the grid was separated into two Groups due to safety concerns over the short and tight nature of the circuit. Albon was part of the 'Group B' qualifying and managed to gain the fastest time in that group, only qualifying 12 hundredths of a second behind Charles Leclerc who qualified in Group A. After an aborted start due to Antonio Fuoco and Sean Gelael stalling on the grid, Charles Leclerc led into the first corner, followed by Albon. A concertina effect occurred at the Grand Hotel Hairpin as Canamasas was spun, causing Gelael to lose his front wing and bringing out a local yellow. Later in the race, Albon found himself stuck behind the slower moving Norman Nato and Jordan King, which eventually caused him to lose places, finishing the race in a disappointing 4th position. In the Sprint Race, Albon started 5th on the grid, and after a very tight race he dropped back to finish in 6th position.

 
Albon at Silverstone Circuit

In the fourth round of the championship at Baku, Azerbaijan; it was announced that Albon would not be racing and instead was set to miss out for the race weekend due to injury.[12] Albon sustained a broken collarbone whilst out on a mountain biking training ride, and was unable to compete due to the over-the-shoulder seat belts used in Formula 2.[13] However, in an interview with motorsport.com he announced that he was hoping to be back for the next round of the championship at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.[14]

Albon was back in action for the fifth round of the championship, stating that his initial feeling on returning to action after breaking his collarbone was "a lot better" than he expected. He confirmed that the bone was still "clearly broken" following an x-ray on the Tuesday before the race weekend, and explained that the main issue he is having in the car is a "numb feeling" from the scar he received during successful surgery after the crash.[15] Albon finished the practice session in 8th, which showed that despite the injury, the chance for his first podium in Formula 2 was a possibility. Albon qualified in 4th for the Feature Race, however was later promoted to third on the provisional starting grid after Sérgio Sette Câmara was disqualified after the qualifying session after failing to provide the required 1 litre fuel sample.[16] Albon finished the Feature Race in 5th position, after losing places to Oliver Rowland and Nicholas Latifi (both racing for DAMS) whose car proved to have a lot of pace. For the Sprint Race, Albon started the race 4th on the grid and managed to move up the grid to clinch his first podium in Formula 2, finishing behind Artem Markelov. He would later score another podium at the sprint race at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, finishing in second after being overtaken by Leclerc on the final lap. He finished 10th in the drivers' championship in his first F2 season, scoring 86 points.

DAMS (2018)Edit

In April 2018, DAMS announced that they signed Albon for the 2018 season to partner Nicholas Latifi. While initially only confirmed for the opening round, he was later confirmed as full time driver for the team the following month. He started the season with a fourth place in the feature race in Bahrain before finishing thirteenth in the sprint race.

For the next round in Baku, Albon started from pole for the feature race and followed it up with his first win in F2, while in the sprint race he finished thirteenth again.

At the next two rounds in Barcelona and Monaco, Albon took two more pole positions but finished fifth in the feature race in Spain after getting away slowly while in the sprint he finished second behind Jack Aitken. In Monaco, however, it was a weekend to forget for the Thai driver, as in the feature race, he collided with Nyck de Vries as he was entering the pitlane, spinning him around in the pitlane entrance, while in the sprint race he collided with Campos' Roy Nissany approaching the Nouvelle Chicane.

Another retirement would follow in the feature race at Le Castellet after he suffered an engine failure. In the sprint race, he finished seventh, one place ahead of Latifi.

After finishing fifth in both races at the Red Bull Ring, Albon won the feature race in Silverstone, before collecting two more wins in the season, in the sprint race at the Hungaroring, and the feature race at Sochi, before a stall on the grid in the feature race at Abu Dhabi ended his title chances, finishing in 14th before an eighth place finish the sprint race saw him finish third in the drivers' championship behind fellow F1 graduates George Russell and Lando Norris.

Formula EEdit

 
Albon during the Formula E testing in Marrakech, December 2017

Albon was signed by Nissan e.dams alongside Sébastien Buemi as one of its drivers for the 2018–19 Formula E season, but he was released before the start of the season to instead drive in the 2019 Formula One season for Toro Rosso.[17][18] His place was taken by former F2 colleague Oliver Rowland, who previously competed in the 2015 Punta del Este ePrix as an injury replacement for Mahindra Racing's Nick Heidfeld.

Formula OneEdit

Toro Rosso (2019)Edit

 
Toro Rosso STR14 of Albon at Red Bull Ring

On 26 November 2018, it was confirmed that Albon had been released from his Nissan e.dams Formula E contract after rumours he was to sign for Toro Rosso. On the same day, Toro Rosso announced Albon would join the team for 2019 alongside Daniil Kvyat and thus Albon's relationship with the Red Bull Junior Team was restored. He is the second Thai driver to compete in Formula One, [19] the first since Prince Bira competed in the 1954 season. [18]

At the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix, the second race in Albon's Formula One career, he finished ninth to score his first points. In his third race in Formula 1, at the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix, Albon started from the Pit Lane having crashed in Free Practice 3 and being unable to compete in qualifying. Albon finished 10th and won the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix 'Driver Of The Day' award.[20]

Red Bull (2019)Edit

Following the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix, Red Bull announced that Albon would be replacing Pierre Gasly for the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix, with Gasly returning to Toro Rosso alongside Daniil Kvyat.[21] The change comes after Albon's strong performance in the Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 throughout the first half of the season, with a best finish of sixth at the rain-affected German Grand Prix in contrast with the tough season of Pierre Gasly in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's RB15, having struggled to keep on the same pace of now-former teammate Max Verstappen who currently has two wins and an additional three podium finishes to his name.[22] Upon the shock mid-season announcement, the team at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing said in a press release, “The team will use the next nine races to evaluate Alex’s performance in order to make an informed decision as to who will drive alongside Max in 2020.”[23]

Racing recordEdit

Career summaryEdit

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles FLaps Podiums Points Position
2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 EPIC Racing 14 0 0 0 0 0 38th
Formula Renault 2.0 Alps 14 0 0 0 0 26 17th
2013 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 KTR 14 0 1 1 0 22 16th
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 6 0 0 1 1 61 22nd
2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 KTR 14 0 1 0 3 117 3rd
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 6 1 0 1 2 80 17th
2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship Signature 33 0 2 1 5 187 7th
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 0 0 0 N/A 13th
2016 GP3 Series ART Grand Prix 18 4 3 3 7 177 2nd
Masters of Formula 3 Hitech GP 1 0 0 0 0 N/A 5th
2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship ART Grand Prix 20 0 0 1 2 86 10th
2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship DAMS 24 4 3 0 8 212 3rd
2019 Formula One Scuderia Toro Rosso 12 0 0 0 0 64* 8th*
Red Bull Racing 5 0 0 0 0

* Season still in progress.

Complete FIA Formula 3 European Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 DC Points
2015 Signature Volkswagen SIL
1

4
SIL
2

6
SIL
3

6
HOC
1

13
HOC
2

8
HOC
3

9
PAU
1

5
PAU
2

7
PAU
3

NC
MNZ
1

21
MNZ
2

WD
MNZ
3

WD
SPA
1

3
SPA
2

16
SPA
3

9
NOR
1

5
NOR
2

2
NOR
3

3
ZAN
1

7
ZAN
2

4
ZAN
3

8
RBR
1

7
RBR
2

5
RBR
3

8
ALG
1

2
ALG
2

12
ALG
3

Ret
NÜR
1

12
NÜR
2

14
NÜR
3

11
HOC
1

11
HOC
2

Ret
HOC
3

2
7th 187

Complete GP3 Series resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos Pts
2016 ART Grand Prix CAT
FEA

6
CAT
SPR

1
RBR
FEA

2
RBR
SPR

2
SIL
FEA

1
SIL
SPR

14
HUN
FEA

7
HUN
SPR

1
HOC
FEA

4
HOC
SPR

Ret
SPA
FEA

9
SPA
SPR

10
MNZ
FEA

6
MNZ
SPR

2
SEP
FEA

1
SEP
SPR

8
YMC
FEA

Ret
YMC
FEA

Ret
2nd 177

Complete FIA Formula 2 Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 DC Points
2017 ART Grand Prix BHR
FEA

6
BHR
SPR

7
CAT
FEA

5
CAT
SPR

8
MON
FEA

4
MON
SPR

6
BAK
FEA
BAK
SPR
RBR
FEA

5
RBR
SPR

2
SIL
FEA

18
SIL
SPR

10
HUN
FEA

8
HUN
SPR

7
SPA
FEA

12
SPA
SPR

18
MNZ
FEA

14
MNZ
SPR

8
JER
FEA

12
JER
SPR

9
YMC
FEA

7
YMC
SPR

2
10th 86
2018 DAMS BHR
FEA

4
BHR
SPR

13
BAK
FEA

1
BAK
SPR

13
CAT
FEA

5
CAT
SPR

2
MON
FEA

Ret
MON
SPR

Ret
LEC
FEA

Ret
LEC
SPR

7
RBR
FEA

5
RBR
SPR

5
SIL
FEA

1
SIL
SPR

7
HUN
FEA

5
HUN
SPR

1
SPA
FEA

5
SPA
SPR

3
MNZ
FEA

3
MNZ
SPR

Ret
SOC
FEA

1
SOC
SPR

3
YMC
FEA

14
YMC
SPR

8
3rd 212

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 WDC Points
2019 Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 Honda RA619H 1.6 V6 t AUS
14
BHR
9
CHN
10
AZE
11
ESP
11
MON
8
CAN
Ret
FRA
15
AUT
15
GBR
12
GER
6
HUN
10
8th* 64*
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull Racing RB15 BEL
5
ITA
6
SIN
6
RUS
5
JPN
4
MEX USA BRA ABU

* Season still in progress.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Alex Albon | Racing career profile | Driver Database". www.driverdb.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Introducing Alex Albon..." Red Bull. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Albon enters GP3 with ART". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Alexander Albon completes ART 2017 line up – Formula 2". www.fiaformula2.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Driver Standings - Formula 2". www.fiaformula2.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Alex Joins the Team". redbullracing.redbull.com. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Nigel Albon". Driver Database. 30 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Mum of Brit Formula 1 driver tipped as next Lewis Hamilton is £7.5m fraudster". Daily Mirror. 1 December 2018.
  9. ^ "De Vries joins 2016 GP3 field with ART". 24 February 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016. We have Charles Leclerc, Alexander Albon [neither confirmed yet], Jake Hughes, Jack Aitken and Kevin Jorg lining up on the grid and Antonio Fuoco is staying for another season. All these guys are capable of winning races
  10. ^ "GP3 runner-up Albon confirmed for GP2 2017 promotion". 22 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  11. ^ Kalinauckas, Alex. "Bahrain Formula 2: Ferrari junior Leclerc beats Ghiotto and Rowland". Autosport.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  12. ^ Prix, ART Grand (19 June 2017). ".@sirotkin_sergey will replace @alex_albon in Baku due to an Alex' health issue. We wish you a quick recovery Alex #F2 : @FIA_F2pic.twitter.com/5e2DWxqLvU". @ARTGP. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  13. ^ Kalinauckas, Alex. "ART F2 driver Alexander Albon explains injury behind Baku absence". Autosport.com. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Albon explains extent of cycling crash injuries". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  15. ^ Kalinauckas, Alex. "F2 news: Injured Formula 2 racer Albon says return better than expected". AUTOSPORT.com. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  16. ^ Kalinauckas, Alex. "Sergio Sette Camara loses Red Bull Ring Formula 2 front row start". Autosport.com. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Nissan signs Albon as Buemi's Formula E teammate". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Albon to partner Kvyat at Toro Rosso in 2019". formula1.com. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  19. ^ "คนไทยคนที่2! อัลบอนเตรียมซิ่งF1ฤดูกาลหน้า" (in Thai). 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  20. ^ "Driver Of The Day: Albon dedicates China point to mechanics after FP3 smash". Formula One. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Alex joins the team". redbull.com. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Albon to replace Gasly at Red Bull from Belgium | Formula 1®". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  23. ^ "Red Bull drops Pierre Gasly for Alexander Albon". Motor Sport Magazine. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.

External linksEdit