One of the last remaining seats for the 2019 Formula 1 season at Toro Rosso now has a confirmed driver. To be vacated by New Zealander Brendon Hartley, the seat at the Faenza, Italy-based team will now accommodate London-born Thai Formula 2 star Alexander Albon. He will join Daniil Kvyat in Toro Rosso’s 2019 driver line-up, with Pierre Gasly going up to Red Bull.

Albon, 22, has come from a Formula 2 title fight which went all the way to the end-of-season Abu Dhabi race as one of two drivers who stood to win the championship at that point. However, he ended the season third overall behind champion George Russell and second placed Lando Norris. All three will now move on to Formula 1 for the 2019 season, with Russell landing a seat with Williams, and Norris bound for McLaren.

The Thai driver had one season in the Red Bull Junior Programme in 2012 prior to Formula 2, and more recently had appeared set to race in the next season of Formula E. Now that Albon is confirmed for Toro Rosso, he will be the first Thai racer on the premier grid since Prince Bira in 1955.

“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,” said Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost.