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Ex-F1 Driver Albon to Make GT Debut with Red Bull

Red Bull to get involved in GT3-based DTM; Alex Albon and Liam Lawson to drive…

Photo: Nuri Yilmazer/Red Bull

Former Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver Alexander Albon will switch to sports car competition this year with a drive in the GT3-based DTM series.

Albon and Red Bull junior Liam Lawson are set to compete in the new-look German championship with backing from Austrian energy drink giant Red Bull.

Neither the team nor the car that both drivers will be working with has been announced.

Albon graduated to F1 in 2019 as a driver for Toro Rosso before being promoted to the main Red Bull team midway through the season as Pierre Gasly’s replacement.

The 24-year-old remained at Red Bull for last year’s campaign and finished seventh in the standings with his highlight results being podiums at Mugello and Bahrain.

Albon is now set for his sports car debut after Red Bull hired Sergio Perez to partner Max Verstappen in the 2021 season, leaving the British-Thai racer without a full-time ride.

“Formula 1 drivers like Alex Albon, DTM stars like three-time champion Rene Rast, GT professionals and young talents like Liam Lawson – that is a high-class driver mix the way I would like it for the 2021 DTM season,” said DTM boss Gerhard Berger.

“It is also a perfect fit that ex-Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button has already submitted an entry for the DTM with his team.

“Alex Albon is a young, ambitious driver and an outstanding gain for the DTM.”

Albon will race in the DTM when his Red Bull Racing F1 test and reserve driver role does not interfere, while a yet-to-be-confirmed replacement will step in for the rounds that he can’t attend.

New Zealand-born teenager Lawson, who finished fifth in last year’s FIA Formula 3 Championship, holds the second full-time race seat for the Red Bull DTM program.

The 18-year-old is a former champion of the Toyota Racing Series and has won races in Euroformula Open and ADAC Formula 4.

Red Bull motorsport consultant Dr. Helmut Marko, who ran a DTM team in the 1980s, commented: “The DTM with a high-class field and GT3 sports cars is an interesting platform and a real challenge, both for successful race drivers like Alex Albon as for our Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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