Alex Albon says he learned to live with no regrets after going through the “darkest moment” of his career when he was dropped from the Red Bull Formula 1 team’s young driver programme.

The British-born Thai driver recovered from losing his Red Bull backing in 2012 due to poor performance to earn a second chance with the energy drinks company last year, seven years after initially being dropped.

Albon immediately impressed having been given his break by Toro Rosso despite having no previous experience in F1 machinery, and sensationally found himself promoted to Red Bull after just 12 grands prix - replacing the underperforming Pierre Gasly.

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He went on to record eight top-six finishes from his nine-race spell at Red Bull and was subsequently rewarded by being retained for a full season with the Milton Keynes squad in 2020.

“[Those experiences] gave me a feeling that I’ve been through the worst and I’m always able to come out the other side,” Albon told the official Formula 1 website.

“There’s a sense that I don’t feel too much pressure, because I feel I survived that, I can survive other things.

“I carry that with me, with a lot of things that I go to. Even the call up from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, there’s a sense of, if it doesn’t work out, so what? There are no regrets.

‘You’ve done it before, you’ve pulled it through so why can’t you do it again? It’s made me a lot stronger.”

Albon concedes he has improvements to make heading into his sophomore F1 campaign with Red Bull but is confident he is in a good position to close the gap to teammate Max Verstappen this year.

“My side of the garage is relatively new,” he explained.

“It’s a relationship which needs building. It’s only been six or seven months we’ve been together, so it’s still learning, it’s still new.

“We sat together and developed areas I need to work on, established where we want to be in our goals, and that makes it clear for all of us. It feels really good.

“I know what I need to work on, but also, there’s knowing it, but then there is understanding what to do and how to get the most out of the situation.

“We have some ideas of what we need to target to get the car and myself in a better window.”