Nissan ‘frustrated’ with Albon-STR link

Date published: October 22 2018

Alexander Albon: 2019 grid

Although Nissan e.dams’ team boss Jean-Paul Driot is trying to “find a solution” to the Alexander Albon, he admits they are “very much frustrated” with it all.

Earlier this year Nissan signed Albon to a three-year Formula E contract.

However, he’s now looking for a way out of that deal after Toro Rosso came calling.

Although Red Bull passed up on Albon years ago, they are now keen sign him as a Toro Rosso driver for next season with Helmut Marko holding talks with the driver and Nissan last week.

Those talks cost Nissan vital track time at the pre-season test at Valencia as Albon was meant to test but instead sat out with the team then having to bring in Oliver Rowland.

“It came out of the blue,” Driot told Motorsport.com

“We are very much frustrated within DAMS and Nissan e.dams because as far as DAMS is concerned and Formula 2 is concerned, we have done a lot in order to help Alexander Albon race, financially speaking.

“We gave him a good car – because the year before the team he was with [ART Grand Prix], he didn’t really perform – and with us he has demonstrated that he is very quick, which I never doubted.

“We took him for a three-year contract [in FE] and suddenly out of the blue – because we helped him a lot to brush and to shine his image – Toro Rosso came with Dr [Helmut] Marko to say that he wanted to have Albon in a car.

“When you ask a blind man if he wants to see, you know the answer. When he talked about Formula 1 to a driver who was always dreaming to do so, you know the answer as well.

“So we are negotiating with Toro Rosso, Nissan have top management who were not really happy, as you can imagine.

“[They are] very unhappy because we had signed him for three years. But we are trying to find a solution.”

Read more: How the 2019 grid is shaping up

Driot revealed that nothing has been decided and that the talks between the Toro Rosso, the driver and Nissan continue.

“We are trying to find a solution because when you have a driver who doesn’t want to drive any more, what do you do? But we have a contract and that is clear,” he added.

“Nothing is done at the moment, and this is why we put Oliver Rowland in the car – as a kind of third driver – and we will see in the coming two-three weeks how it develops.

“We are discussing with Toro Rosso in order to see how we can find the best solution for everyone.”

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