Alexander Albon will be Toro Rosso-Honda’s second driver for the 2019 Formula 1 season.
The announcement means 19 out of 20 slots are already filled and the final slot, the second seat in Force India for Lance Stroll is the last one to get the official confirmation.
Albon was at the top of the Faenza based team’s shortlist since October. But the Thai racer had already made a commitment to Nissan e.dams ABB FIA Formula E Championship team.
It took a while to get out of that obligation. The change caused a lot of trouble at Nissan especially since Formula E pre-season testing was about to start.
Sources confirmed that Albon got out of the contract on Monday and Toro Rosso announced the deal once Nissan confirmed Albon was out.
Albon’s third-place finish in Formula 2 got him the race seat, says Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost
“Alexander had an impressive Formula 2 season in 2018,” said Tost. “He won four races and finished the championship third.
“The way he is able to overtake many of his rivals in the races shows that he is ready and matured to race in Formula 1.
“With Daniil and Alex, we have two young, very strong and competitive drivers.”
Albon was dropped from the Red Bull family six years ago and the youngster is excited to be back in the junior program once again.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to know that I’m in Formula 1 next year,” he said. “Throughout my single-seater career, I went through a few ups and downs.
“I was dropped by Red Bull in 2012, so from then I knew my road to Formula 1 was going to be a lot harder.
“I worked really hard and tried to impress every time I got in the car, and I have to say a big thank you to Red Bull and Dr [Helmut] Marko for believing in me and giving me a second chance.
“I’ve always been motorsport mad and since I first got in a car, it’s been my dream to be in Formula 1.
“To be given this opportunity is just incredible.”