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, replacing Pierre Gasly who has returned to Toro Rosso.
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), 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 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, finishing second in the drivers championship only to his teammate. Albon was given a seat once again by ART in 2017 to race in the FIA Formula 2 Championship where he finished his maiden year in 10th position. 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.
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. His mother, Kankamol, is a native of Thailand. 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.
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.
Toro Rosso (2019)
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, the first since Prince Bira competed in the 1954 season.
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.
Red Bull (2019)
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. 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. 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.”