Belgian Grand Prix: Alexander Albon unconcerned by Red Bull promotion

Alexander Albon
Alexander Albon is to be assessed over the rest of the season before Red Bull make a decision on Max Verstappen's 2020 team-mate

Alexander Albon says he is "not worried" about what he admits is "a big step" following his move to Red Bull for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Anglo-Thai has been promoted to the team from junior outfit Toro Rosso for the rest of the season, swapping places with Frenchman Pierre Gasly.

"Not many drivers get the chance to drive a car capable of winning a race so early in their F1 career, so it's a great opportunity to be driving for Red Bull. It's a big step," Albon said.

The 23-year-old, who lives close to the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes, said he was eager to see the differences between the Toro Rosso and the Red Bull car, which in the hands of his new team-mate Max Verstappen has won two of the last four races.

"We know what the car is capable of and we've seen what Max has been able to do this year," said Albon.

"I want to see what it's like compared to what I'm used to, but at the same time, I know this weekend is my first time in the car.

"I'm still learning and improving as a driver and there's definitely more to come. I know one of the main differences will be the noise and attention that comes with the move but I'm keeping my feet on the ground."

Albon, born in London to a British father and Thai mother, has been preparing for his new team over F1's summer break.

Since the last race in Hungary at the beginning of August, he has done as much preparation work in the Red Bull simulator as possible.

Alexander Albon
Albon was part of Red Bull's young driver programme, but was dropped from it in 2012

He knows that Red Bull will make a decision on their 2020 line-up having seen how he copes with the move to the senior team over the remaining nine races of the season.

"I'm just focusing on the job I have to do for Spa," Albon said. "I'll be doing a lot of listening and observing. The track is cool and I think it's one that everyone loves.

"It's definitely a drivers' track. It's quick and there aren't many run-off areas. It kind of goes back to that old-school driving feeling where you really feel like you're on the limit and you know if you make a mistake, you're in the wall. That's something that drivers crave.

"Spa hasn't necessarily been that successful of a track for me, but we got podiums there in Formula 2 last year so it's still been good. Also, you never know what's going to happen there with the weather.

"Now it's about going through procedural things with the team and getting to know everyone. It should be good! This is a big step, but I feel I've been through these big jumps before and taken the opportunities - I'm not worried about that.

"I'm focused and ready to be as strong as possible for the second half of the year."

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