Toro Rosso have signed Formula 2 title contender Alexander Albon as a driver for 2019, racing alongside Daniil Kyvat for the Italian squad next season and ensuring that the top 3 drivers from the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship will progress to F1 for the first time.

The Thai driver, who collected 3 poles and 4 wins with DAMS this season, impressed the Toro Rosso management with his speed and racecraft. Team Principal Franz Tost noted “Alexander had an impressive Formula 2 season in 2018. He won four races and finished the Championship third. The way he is able to overtake many of his rivals in the races shows that he is ready and matured to race in Formula 1. Scuderia Toro Rosso is very much looking forward to 2019, as with Daniil and Alex we have two young, very strong and competitive drivers."

A delighted Albon, the first Thai driver to compete in Formula 1 since Prince Birabongse in the fifties, noted "It's such an amazing feeling to know that I'm in Formula 1 next year. Throughout my single seater career, I went through a few ups and downs. I was dropped by Red Bull in 2012, so from then I knew my road to Formula 1 was going to be a lot harder. I worked really hard and tried to impress every time I got in the car, and I have to say a big thank you to Red Bull and Dr Marko for believing in me and giving me a second chance.

“I've always been motorsport mad, and since I first got in a car it's been my dream to be in Formula 1. To be given this opportunity is just incredible." Albon will join F2 champion George Russell, who will race next year for Williams, and vice-champion Lando Norris, who lines up for McLaren, on the grid in Melbourne next March.