Alexander Albon is wary he has to perform straight away in F1

Alexander Albon says he knows he has to perform from the outset in Formula 1 this season, pointing to the cut-throat nature of Red Bull’s environment.

Albon has stepped up to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso off the back of finishing third in last year’s Formula 2 championship, and also secured the runner-up spot in the 2016 GP3 standings.

He is also the least experienced driver on the grid, with his first taste of Formula 1 machinery coming during a Misano shakedown and at this week’s Barcelona test.

The Anglo-Thai has effectively replaced Brendon Hartley, who joined Toro Rosso in late 2017, but who was dropped at the conclusion of his sole full season at the team.

When asked by Motorsport Week whether he had been assured he would be given time, Albon said: “No not really. On my side, I think Red Bull work in quite a simple mindset that you have to perform when you have to perform.

“That’s always been the culture in Red Bull. That’s always been the culture in Toro Rosso.

“I’m fully aware of what’s needed. I’m used to the process.”

Albon had signed a three-year deal with the Nissan Formula E team before he was prised from his contract to race for Toro Rosso in Formula 1.

“It was a little bit of a shock,” he said on receiving the call.

“There were rumours, of course back then it still wasn’t as… there were rumours but nothing really was done at that point. It was just rumours.

“People saw how things were unfolding and presumed it to be more ahead than anything. It was nice to receive that call.

“It’s almost a no regret mindset, where you’ve got to do it [Formula 1 over Formula E]. That’s always been my dream.

“If things didn’t work out, things didn’t work out. But I was confident that if things didn’t work out I’d find other things to do.”