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F1 promotion to Red Bull for Bures-raised Alex Albon for remainder of 2019 season is 'surreal'

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Alex Albon has described his promotion to drive for four time Constructors Champions Red Bull for the rest of the F1 season as ‘surreal’, writes Johnny Amos.

The Bures-raised 23-year-old will replace Pierre Gasly as the team’s main driver with the latter switching places to move back to Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso.

It comes after Albon’s strong start to his debut F1 campaign which has seen him pick up 16 points from 12 races with his best finish sixth at the recent German Grand Prix.

Alex Albon is driving for Toro Rosso in his debut season in F1 Picture: Peter Fox / Getty Images (Red Bull Content Pool) (11285632)
Alex Albon is driving for Toro Rosso in his debut season in F1 Picture: Peter Fox / Getty Images (Red Bull Content Pool) (11285632)

The former Littlegarth School pupil took to Twitter on Monday to share his thanks to the team for showing belief in him.

He posted: “Surreal to have been given this massive opportunity from Red Bull Racing! Can’t thank you enough for believing in me and making this possible.”

Albon, who holds dual nationality with Thailand, has grasped his opportunity since getting his first taste of action in Formula 1 at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March with both hands.

He earned his dream entry into F1 after coming second in the FIA Formula 2 Championship last season.

He said: “It’s a big jump into the deep end, but I’ve got my swimming shorts on!”

Due to Gasly only picking up 63 points this season the move to replace him with Albon may have been easier than many first thought.

It is initially only until the end of the season but depending on Albon’s performances, Red Bull bosses have indicated it could be extended into next season.

In a statement Red Bull said: “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 Verstrappen in 2020.”

The team are currently sitting in third place in the Constructors standings, 44 points behind Ferrari. But a few good results over the remaining races could see them edge closer to a second place.

Albon added his thanks to his departing team Toro Rosso, saying: “Thanks to all the guys at Toro Rosso, especially Franz Tost for the massive opportunity in F1 and never-ending support throughout my first year!”

Albon’s next race comes at the Belgium Grand Prix from August 30-September 1.