Alex Albon insists he never felt bitter when Red Bull dropped him from their young driver programme in 2012.
The Anglo-Thai racer was handed a Red Bull promotion over the summer break in-keeping with his “surprise of the season” tag courtesy of Dr Helmut Marko.
Albon has left Toro Rosso behind for Red Bull where he will partner Max Verstappen, replacing Pierre Gasly who heads to the junior team in a straight swap.
— Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) August 26, 2019
The 23-year-old is all suited and booted ahead of his debut in Spa, but this is actually his career coming full circle after being axed by Red Bull back in 2012.
After showing promise at karting level, Albon moved into single-seaters under the Red Bull Junior Team programme in 2012, but after finishing 17th in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps series and 38th in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series, he was dropped at the end of the year.
However, he would go on to finish P3 in the 2018 F2 Championship behind George Russell and Lando Norris, earning him a surprise recall from Red Bull who sent him to Toro Rosso to start the 2019 season.
Albon now has a golden opportunity in the works team to impress and earn a drive for 2020.
Asked by the official F1 website if he felt bitter over his original axing in 2012, he said: “Back then I was not driving very well, and there was no reason to keep me on board, so no, there’s none of that.
“It’s nice that I’m a surprise to most people, I would almost, in a way, wish it wasn’t a surprise! But it’s nice that people are happy with how it’s going.”