Alex Albon

Points 0 Position 20 Date of Birth March / 23 / 1996
Place of Birth London Team Williams Car Number 23

Profile

Alexander Albon is a Thai-British racing driver who was born in London, England on 23 March 1996.

Albon began his Formula 1 career with AlphaTauri, then known as Toro Rosso, after earning a surprise recall to the Red Bull programme in 2019. He quickly bagged a promotion to the main Red Bull outfit halfway through the season, but lost that seat at the end of 2020. It would be just the one year away from the grid though, as Albon returned in 2022 with Williams.

Growing up Albon spent time at Ipswich School in Ipswich, Suffolk before moving on to pursue his career in motor racing and was part of a stellar Formula 2 class in 2018, with him, George Russell and Lando Norris all now part of the Formula 1 grid once again.

Albon is a Buddhist and now resides in Monaco.

Career

Albon made his Formula 1 debut at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix - though it was a debut that he wasn't exactly expecting to happen.

The Anglo-Thai driver was ready to move to Formula E after finishing behind George Russell and Lando Norris in the 2018 F2 Championship.

His contract was signed and sealed to race for the Nissan e.dams team in the 2018-19 FE season, that was before Red Bull came calling to bring him back into their driver programme.

He would be placed at AlphaTauri, then known as Toro Rosso, where he would partner Daniil Kvyat, who was also recalled to the Red Bull fold for 2019.

Albon became the first since Thai driver since Prince Bira in 1954 to compete in Formula 1, and despite having not turned a wheel before in modern F1 machinery, he would hit the ground running.

At only his second race Albon would claim his maiden points finish with P9 in Bahrain, but it would be at the following round in China where he really put himself on the proverbial F1 map.

A heavy crash in FP3 would leave Albon's STR14 too damaged to take part in qualifying, condemning him to a pit-lane start.

But that would provide the platform for a stunning recovery drive as he made it all the way back to P10 to claim a World Championship point, as well as his first Driver of the Day award in F1.

More points followed in Monaco, Germany and Hungary before Albon's career changed very much for the better over the summer break.

With Pierre Gasly struggling for form at Red Bull, the team made the decision to send the Frenchman back to Toro Rosso, while Albon, in his rookie year, would be promoted to race alongside Max Verstappen.

It is safe to say he would take his opportunity well, going on a run of seven straight top six finishes, while also setting an identical Q3 time to Verstappen in Japan.

Albon was set to take his first podium finish at the chaotic Brazilian GP before Lewis Hamilton punted him out of the race late on, but he would return to his usual consistency at the final round of 2019 in Abu Dhabi with a P6 finish.

All that hard work was very much worth it for Albon. On 12 November 2019, Red Bull announced that Albon would continue racing for the team during the 2020 season.

He would finish his rookie season with 92 points, earning him P8 in the Drivers' Championship.

Sadly for Albon, he went on to suffered the same fate as Gasly, with Verstappen strengthening his reputation as the team-mate killer.

The Thai driver was actually on course to make the podium at the delayed 2020 season-opener in Austria, that was until history repeated itself.

Albon was looking to take P2 from the Mercedes driver around the outside of Turn 3, but instead was put into the gravel by Hamilton, who picked up a five-second penalty for his error.

Albon later retired with an electrical failure.

From there the Thai driver's search for a first Red Bull podium dragged on all the way until Round 9, where at the Tuscan Grand Prix, finally he tasted the Formula 1 champagne with a P3 finish.

Another P3 arrived at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but with only 105 points scored across the season, compared to 214 for Verstappen, and a consistent gulf in qualifying performance, Red Bull went into the off-season with a decision to make over Albon's future.

Ultimately, the call was made to hire from outside of the Red Bull programme, with Sergio Perez brought in to partner Verstappen for 2021, while Albon became Red Bull test and reserve driver.

Midway through 2021, rumours emerged that Albon was in talks with a switch to Williams for 2022, but as confirmation seemingly drew closer, it was reported that Mercedes were concerned.

As Williams buy their engines from Mercedes, the German outfit were concerned for their intellectual property considering Albon's Red Bull links.

That hurdle was cleared though, with clauses put in place, allowing Albon to join Williams for 2022, while Red Bull fashioned a clause of their own, allowing them to recall Albon for 2023 if they wished.

Albon arguably was something of an opportunity for his Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi, the Canadian looking to assume that team leader role with Russell now at Mercedes, while we also needed to see whether Albon was truly over what went down at Red Bull. He was.

From the off Albon established a comfortable buffer over Latifi in the sister FW44, Albon impressing even in a challenger that was the slowest on the grid as Williams managed only eight points. Albon provided four of those, Latifi two and Nyck de Vries the other two.

Albon would secure himself a multi-year contract extension with the team, though it was not a season made up completely of highs, with Albon forced to miss the Saturday and Sunday at the Italian Grand Prix due to appendicitis, later going into respiratory failure due to surgery complications.

Having already shown signs of what being in the right environment can get out of him, 2023 was arguably Albon's break-out season.

Scoring 23 points and single-handedly giving his team seventh in the Constructors' Championship, standout drives in Monza, Montreal, and Silverstone had team boss James Vowles talking about champion-esque performances. It also had other teams reportedly talking about signing him.

A fourth place on the grid at the Dutch Grand Prix showed he wasn't just about race pace, although perhaps more importantly he showed up his replacement at Red Bull, Perez.

Whether Albon, who'll spend the 2024 season with Williams, steps up to a top team in 2025 could yet to be based on his 2023 performances. Williams will be keen to ensure he sticks around for what is reportedly the third year on his multi-year deal.

History

Alexander Albon was a prolific karting racer after first starting to race competitively at just eight years old back in 2005.

Three years later, Albon had progressed to KF3 class and, over the course of two years, 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.

Albon's next big step came in 2012 when he joined the Red Bull junior programme and embarked on his first season in open-wheel racing with a drive for EPIC Racing Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup series.

He would finish P38 out of 49 in the championship, but would rise to P16 in 2013 and then P3 in 2014 in a two-year stint with KTR in the same series.

Albon then made the move up to the Formula 3 European Championship before finishing runner-up to a certain Charles Leclerc in the 2016 GP3 series, winning four races for ART in the process.

Two seasons in Formula 2 then followed for Albon. He finished P10 in his first season with ART, but his switch to DAMS in 2018 saw him finish third in the overall standings behind George Russell and Lando Norris, who, like Albon also secured moves to Formula 1 for the following season.

Albon was not initially heading for Formula 1, though, as he was due to partner Sebastian Buemi at the Formula E team Nissan e.dams for the 2018-19 season. Red Bull agreed a compensation package with the team in order to release Albon from his contract and place him in the Toro Rosso outfit for 2019.

Networth

Alexander Albon was believed to be one of lowest-paid drivers on the Formula 1 grid following his arrival at Red Bull's junior team, formerly known as Toro Rosso, ahead of the 2019 season.

His initially salary was placed in the region of £130,000 a year but, having made the mid-season jump to the Red Bull senior team after Pierre Gasly was axed, his pay cheque was believed to have to shot up, with a basic salary of $2.5m [£1.825m] reported by RaceFans.net for the 2020 season.

In his year on the sidelines, it is believed that Red Bull did not decrease Albon's basic salary. His Williams paycheque is reported to be around $2m [£1.6m] a year.

With a net worth of approximately $5 million. Albon's earnings are boosted by sponsorship deals with Red Bull, Monsoon Valley, fetch.ai and Thai brand PTT Lubricants.

Family

Alexander Albon is one of many drivers who have racing in their family's DNA. His father, Nigel, featured in series such as the British Touring Car Championship and the FIA GT Championship, and he also won the Sepang 12 Hours back in 2002 driving a Porsche 911 GT3 for Jaseri Racing.

Albon's Thai heritage comes from his mother, Kankamol Albon, who was jailed for six years after being found guilty of fraud during her time running an exotic car dealership. She was released in 2018 and is seen supporting Alex regularly in the Formula 1 paddock.

Albon resides in both Monaco and Milton Keynes, where his team Red Bull are based. When in Milton Keynes he lives along with his mother, step-father, three sisters and brother.

Albon is in a relationship with Chinese female golfer Lily Muni, who he has been dating since 2019.

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