Red Bull has officially named Alex Albon as their second Formula 1 driver for the 2020 season next to Max Verstappen.

Albon had an excellent performance following the summer break and managed to rack up points and confidence in the team managers even in the face of fan criticism.

Red Bull demoted the former number two driver, Pierre Gasly, to the junior team Toro Rosso during the break and promoted the 23-year-old Thai driver for the remaining races, much to the chagrin of fans.

Sentiment implied the move to place Albon in that position was because he knew one of the higher-ups, but he has proven his mettle thus far.

Albon finished within the top six in every race he did for the team, managing to outscore lead driver Verstappen.

Albon released a statement saying he was very thankful to Red Bull for the opportunity, and he is confident in his results.

Team boss Christian Horner endorsed him, claiming there was still a lot of potential to unlock in the young driver who made the Formula 1 debut for Toro Rosso at the Australian Grand Prix.

He added it was tough to deny that level of consistency along with a growing reputation of being a focused and tenacious driver.

The news shows the reversal in the fortunes of Albon. Following support by Red Bull during his young karting career, he was dropped by the junior program after a hard start to the single-seater system.

His performance in Formula 2 was what gained back the attention of the team when he finished third behind George Russel and Lando Norris.

He went on to persuade Red Bull to give him the Toro Rosso drive before he was promoted to the Red Bull seat at the beginning of the summer break.

His announcement will come as a blow to several others of the grid. It is the case for Gasly and his teammate Daniil Kvyat considering neither will have a chance to go back to Red Bull from where they were both demoted.

It also removes the possibility of transfers from elsewhere like Renault’s Nico Hulkenburg, who was rumored to be a potential for the number 2 seat.

The announcement also vilifies Lewis Hamilton’s sentiments concerning Albon being an asset.

He urged Red Bull not to toss him aside, especially after his fantastic performance this season. He said he expected to have many future encounters with the Thai driver on the track.

alexander-4341619_640 (4)
Alex Albon Pixabay