Alexander Albon has won the 'Rookie of the Year' award at the FIA’s prize giving ceremony in Paris for an impressive debut Formula 1 campaign.

Albon had initially been signed up to race in Formula E with Nissan but got a last-minute call to complete Toro Rosso’s 2019 driver line-up alongside Daniil Kvyat and make his F1 bow.

Despite having never previously driven F1 machinery before 2019, the British-born Thai adapted quickly and turned in a string of strong displays that ultimately led to a mid-season promotion to Red Bull as replacement for the underperforming Pierre Gasly.

Albon hit the ground running on his Red Bull debut at the Belgian Grand Prix and a run of consecutive top six finishes led to him being retained at the senior team for 2020. He ultimately ended the year eighth in the drivers’ championship, scoring a total of 92 points.

“It’s been something I could never imagine,” Albon said upon receiving the award.

“Even just to be in Formula E and a professional driver, I was amazed and it felt like a progress in the whole professional world of motor racing.

“Then I got the call from Toro Rosso, which was a dream come true and then fast-forward six months to get a call from Red Bull to be in the main team, it was amazing.”

Both Red Bull drivers picked up awards at the gala, with Albon’s teammate Max Verstappen winning the FIA 'Action of the Year' award for his overtake on Charles Leclerc on the outside of Club corner during their epic scrap at the British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were also officially crowned world champions as they were presented with the championship-winning trophies.

The late Niki Lauda was also honoured with the 'Personality of the Year' award, having played an intrumental role at Mercedes until his death shortly before the Monaco Grand Prix. 

 

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