Alexander Albon hopes F1 follows MotoGP to Thailand

Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon says it would be “amazing” if Formula 1 was to ever hold a Grand Prix in his native Thailand.

Formula 1 has never had a Thai Grand Prix but last year the country joined the MotoGP calendar at the new-build Chang International Circuit in Buriram.

Britain-born Albon, meanwhile, will race under a Thai flag as he steps up to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso, becoming only its second representative after Prince Bira, who entered 19 Grands Prix in the 1950s.

“It’s a big deal for me to be a Thai driver,” he said.

“It’s been a long time since there’s been a Thai in Formula 1 and I’m just hoping to do everyone proud. 

“A couple of years ago, there was talk of holding a Formula 1 race there.

“They have a circuit ready that’s F1-capable. I think it would be great to have a race there, it would be just amazing.

“Obviously, Vietnam is coming next year and that’s one step closer. That’s given me at least something similar to a home race, I’d like to think.

“Motorsport is getting bigger in Thailand and I’d hope they have someone to root for this year in F1.”

Albon will be based in Milton Keynes, close to Red Bull's and Honda’s UK factories, but explained that he is paying homage to Thailand on his helmet scheme.

“In Thailand, the royal family are extremely highly respected and King Rama IX was one of the most respected people in Thailand,” he said.

“King Rama IX did a lot of charity work, a lot for the working class and he passed away in 2016.

“So I’ve got the number 9, written in Thai on my helmet, as that was part of his symbol.

“Another reference to Thailand on the helmet is the Thai flag included in my name.”