Alexander Albon will stay at Red Bull Racing next season as teammate to Max Verstappen, the team has announced. His appointment was followed by confirmation that Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat will remain at what will be known as Scuderia Alpha Tauri.
Albon was helicoptered into the Red Bull Racing team in his rookie season after the summer break as the team sought to replace the underperforming Gasly, who was moved to Scuderia Toro Rosso in a straight inter-team swap.
The move seems to have benefited both drivers, with Albon in particular enjoying a strong run of results in his seven Grands Prix with the senior team. The Anglo-Thai driver has outscored Verstappen 62-58 in head-to-head points, earning almost as many points as Gasly managed (63) in the twelve races the Frenchman drove before he was demoted.
“Alex has performed extremely well since his debut with the Team in Belgium and his results – seven finishes in the top-six – speak for themselves,” Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner explained.
“It’s extremely hard to deny that level of consistency and in tandem with a growing reputation as a tenacious, fiercely committed racer, Alex has proved that he fully deserves to continue his progress with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
“There is plenty of potential still to unlock and we look forward to seeing Alex alongside Max in 2020.”
“I am really excited to be partnering Max again for next year and I know how fortunate I am to be given this opportunity,” Albon added.
“I’m hugely thankful that Red Bull have put their trust in me and believed in my results since I joined the Team and for them to keep me in the car next year is a big deal. This year has been an incredible year for me and getting the call up to Red Bull mid-season was already a big step, so now I will use the learnings from this season and use the experience to improve and fight at the front in 2020.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso, which will be renamed Scuderia Alpha Tauri next year, will therefore field an unchanged driving line-up for the 2020 season.
Kvyat returned to the team at the beginning of the season and gave the Italian squad its second ever podium finish at the rain-affected German Grand Prix.
“I’m delighted to retain Pierre and Daniil for next season,” Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s team principal, said.
“Both drivers have shown really good performances this season and they have proven in their years in F1 to be very competitive, able to exploit the car’s potential and give valuable feedback to make improvements.
“This young but experienced duo, combined with hopefully a competitive car, will be the best factors to achieve a very successful season in 2020 and I’m looking forward to this extended cooperation.”
Kvyat added: “It’s great to be confirmed with the team for 2020. I’m really happy because I feel very comfortable with everyone here, I know the team and they know me very well, so it’s easy to understand everyone’s needs. We’ve achieved great things together, like our podium this year in Germany, so I hope to deliver a very strong season again for this team next year. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue in Formula 1 and I will give it my all to show the best possible performances next year. I’m really looking forward to more exciting times together.”
“I’m really happy to continue with the team for 2020 and I’m sure we have exciting challenges ahead of us,” concluded Gasly. “Toro Rosso has always given me the best chances to perform every season and I’m super motivated and dedicated to repaying them with the best results possible next year. Toro Rosso has been improving year after year and it’s great to be a part of the journey. I’m very excited to see what we can achieve together in 2020.”
The latest appointments leaves only Williams Racing to finalise its 2020 driving line-up. With George Russell locked in on a multi-year deal and current teammate Robert Kubica opting to leave the team at the end of the year, it is widely expected that reserve driver Nicholas Latifi will be promoted to its racing line-up.
|2020 Formula 1 World Championship – Provisional Entry List (to-date)|
|Mercedes-AMG Petronas||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas|
|Scuderia Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel||Charles Leclerc|
|Red Bull Racing||Max Verstappen||Alexander Albon|
|McLaren Renault||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Lando Norris|
|Renault F1 Team||Daniel Ricciardo||Esteban Ocon|
|Racing Point BWT Mercedes||Sergio Pérez||Lance Stroll|
|Scuderia Alpha Tauri||Pierre Gasly||Daniil Kvyat|
|Alfa Romeo Racing||Kimi Räikkönen||Antonio Giovinazzi|
|Haas F1 Team
||Kevin Magnussen||Romain Grosjean|
|Williams Racing||George Russell||TBA|
Images via Red Bull Content Pool