Albon ready for added pressure as Red Bull driver

Getting his first senior Red Bull chance this week, Alexander Albon is excited but "keeping [his] feet on the ground".

Alexander Albon has replaced Pierre Gasly as Max Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate.   -  Getty Images

Alexander Albon is looking forward to getting to grips with his new Red Bull Racing car and acknowledged he is about to face greater scrutiny following his promotion from Toro Rosso.

With Formula One's mid-season break ending this week, Red Bull has a new line-up with rookie Albon called up to replace Pierre Gasly as Max Verstappen's team-mate.

READ | Red Bull dumps Gasly for Albon

Gasly is sixth in the drivers' standings but Albon has been given the opportunity to impress by team boss Christian Horner ahead of next season.

Preparing for his first senior Red Bull drive at Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix, the 23-year-old is excited but not getting carried away.

"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," Albon said.

"It's a big step, a big difference, and the factory's a lot closer to my house, which is handy. We know what the car is capable of and we've seen what Max has been able to do this year. 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. I'm just focusing on the job I have to do for Spa. I'll be doing a lot of listening and observing."

Meanwhile, Gasly waits to learn his fate for next season but insists he is happy to be back at his former outfit Toro Rosso.

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"The summer break is over and I am back with my Italian family for the rest of the season and I'm happy to be working with Toro Rosso again," he said. "I've had a couple of weeks to rest and train to get ready for the nine upcoming races so I can give my best performance for the team.

"It was nice to have that time off to reflect on the first half of the season, but now I'm fully focused on the rest of the season and ready to get going again."