Rookie Albon to complete Toro Rosso's 2019 line-up
Toro Rosso have confirmed rookie Alexander Albon will complete their line-up in Formula One next season alongside Daniil Kvyat.
Rumours have been circulating that British-Thai driver Albon would step up from Formula Two to replace Brendon Hartley, who finished 19th out of 20 drivers this season.
Albon was dropped by the Red Bull programme in 2012 but was a title contender in F2 this campaign until a start-line incident in the season-ender curtailed his hopes and saw him finish third.
The 22-year-old races under the Thailand flag, meaning there will be a Thai driver in F1 for the first time since Prince Birabongse in the early 1950s.
"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," he told Toro Rosso's official website.
"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 really don’t think there are words to describe how excited and proud I am to be driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2019. It was an uphill battle to be on the grid this year and to be given the opportunity to be in F1 is surreal! (1 of 2) pic.twitter.com/dxMqpwxuv6— Alex Albon (@alex_albon) November 26, 2018
"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 [Helmut] 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."
It was confirmed in September that Kvyat, who was demoted by Red Bull and dropped twice in the space of 18 months in 2016-17, would return to the team after spending this season as a reserve driver for Ferrari to replace Pierre Gasly, who is taking the Red Bull seat left vacant by Daniel Ricciardo's move to Renault.