Albon emerges as favourite for Hartley's Toro Rosso seat

Alexander Albon has emerged as favourite to replace Brendon Hartley and partner Daniil Kvyat at Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula 1 in 2019.

Albon emerges as favourite for Hartley's Toro Rosso seat

However, the Anglo-Thai racer first has to get out of his existing deal to contest the 2018-19 Formula E season with Nissan.

It’s understood that Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko is negotiating with Nissan for the release of the 22-year-old, and that it will become clear in the next few days whether he has been successful.

Nissan is understood to be extremely frustrated with potentially losing a driver to whom it had made an early commitment, and it remains to be seen how the discussions will unfold.

Albon was scheduled to test for Nissan in Valencia this week, alongside teammate Sebastian Buemi, but he did not appear on track on Tuesday.

Albon made the decision to take up the Formula E route around the time of the Hungarian GP when it appeared that no F1 opportunities would be forthcoming. He thus signed a multi-year deal with Nissan, whose Formula E team is run by DAMS - the squad for which he has won four F2 races in 2018.

However, subsequent movements in the driver market such as Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to join Renault – which led to Pierre Gasly’s promotion from Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing – left the Faenza team short of options.

Albon was backed by Red Bull in karting and Formula Renault, but was dropped after 2012. However, since then the Anglo-Thai racer - who finished runner-up to Charles Leclerc in GP3 in 2016 - has been rehabilitated in the eyes of Marko.

If talks are successful and the move to F1 is completed, Albon will join fellow F2 frontrunners George Russell and Lando Norris in stepping straight into F1 race seats, while Hartley - who was brought back into the Red Bull fold midway through 2017 - will be left without a drive.

Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Force India creditors already paid by Stroll

Previous article

Force India creditors already paid by Stroll

Next article

De Ferran suppressing "anger" amid McLaren results

De Ferran suppressing "anger" amid McLaren results
Load comments
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021