Alex Albon braced to jump 'into the deep end' at Red Bull
"I've got my swimming shorts on!" quips new Red Bull recruit with Albon facing 'sink or swim' time alongside Max Verstappen; Have your say on the Gasly/Albon swap in the poll below
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 14/08/19 10:20am
Alex Albon says he is ready to grasp the "surreal" opportunity presented by his mid-season promotion to Red Bull.
The 23-year-old will resume the season at Spa at the end of August in one of F1's most coveted seats after he was promoted to the senior Red Bull team at the expense of Pierre Gasly, who drops back down to Toro Rosso after a disappointing start to the season.
Albon has impressed in his first dozen races of F1 at Toro Rosso, scoring points on five occasions, with a best result of sixth in last month's thrilling German GP.
Albon tweeted: "Surreal to have been given this massive opportunity @redbullracing!
"Can't thank you enough for believing in me and making this possible. It's a big jump into the deep end, but I've got my swimming shorts on!"
Although Red Bull have employed younger drivers than the 23-year-old Albon in recent years, he is the least experienced to occupy one of their seats since Dutchman Robert Doornbos in 2006, with just 12 grands prix under his belt so far.
The London-born Thai driver only tested an F1 car for the first time in February but has made an accomplished start to his career at the top level.
"Thanks to all the guys at @ToroRosso," added Albon.
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Surreal to have been given this massive opportunity with @redbullracing ! Can’t thank you enough for believing in me and making this possible. It’s a big jump into the deep end, but I’ve got my swimming shorts on! 😄 Thanks to all the guys at @tororosso, especially Franz Tost for the massive opportunity in F1 and the never-ending support throughout my first year! Now to focus for my first race with the team in Spa 🇧🇪
"Especially Franz Tost for the massive opportunity in F1 and never-ending support throughout my first year! Now to focus for my first race with the team in Spa."
Gasly returns to Toro Rosso, where he raced in 2017-18, to team up with Daniil Kvyat, who himself was relegated in the Red Bull pecking order in 2016 when Max Verstappen was promoted.