Alexander Albon says he found out about his promotion during a “normal catch up” with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko at the start of Formula 1’s summer break.

Albon has swapped seats with Pierre Gasly for the remainder of the 2019 season to partner Max Verstappen at Red Bull following an impressive start to his rookie F1 campaign, which coincided with Gasly’s struggles at the Milton Keynes squad.

Speaking ahead of his debut for the team at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix during the drivers’ press conference, Albon revealed how the news was broken to him.

“It was kind of just a normal thing, a daily catch up with Dr. Marko in his office in Austria and that’s pretty much how the conversation went,” Albon explained.

“I think it was the Monday at the beginning of the summer break and that kind of conversation came through, it was one of those things, ‘oh by the way this is what’s going on’, and that was pretty much it.

“I think you [the media] knew only an hour after I did so I think it was quite close in that sense. But it was all OK.

“Starting off in the summer break, I came into it expecting a bit of a relaxing time and then the first day of the summer break, I got told the news,” he added.

“So I had a little bit of time to think about it, and in F1 with the summer break you can’t really speak to anyone.

“There was a lot of time there were I was just like ‘who can I speak to and what can I do?’ First time really speaking to everyone was on Monday, so I’m trying to catch up right now, trying to know all the team and that’s about it.”

Albon is set to start towards the back of the grid at Spa after Honda confirmed it will be introducing its ‘Spec 4’ engine upgrade for the British-Thai driver, as well as Daniil Kvyat.

“We’ll just go into the weekend more focused on race pace, which also means more laps as well, so that will be the target and of course, that kind of feeling straight away will be a different kind of atmosphere,” he said.

“I would quite like to have given it a go and seen how I would have gone in qualifying and tried to have started up than I will be.”

 

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