Alexander Albon will remain a Red Bull driver for the 2020 Formula 1 season in a full-time race seat alongside lead driver Max Verstappen, it has been confirmed.

Albon joined Toro Rosso for his rookie year in F1 following his third place finish in Formula 2 in 2018, impressing with a series of points finishes in the first half to the season.

With an underperforming Pierre Gasly struggling to meet Red Bull’s lofty expectations, Albon made the switch to the works team midway through the year as a chance to show his worth for a full-time drive for next year.

In his seven outings with the energy drinks firm, Albon has finished every race inside the top six with a best finish of fourth at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The British-born Thai driver has also outscored his more experienced team-mate Verstappen since the summer break, elevating him to sixth in the drivers’ standings.

“I am really excited to be partnering Max again for next year and I know how fortunate I am to be given this opportunity,” Albon said.

“I’m hugely thankful that Red Bull have put their trust in me and believed in my results since I joined the team and for them to keep me in the car next year is a big deal.

“This year has been an incredible year for me and getting the call up to Red Bull mid-season was already a big step, so now I will use the learnings from this season and use the experience to improve and fight at the front in 2020.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added: “Alex has performed extremely well since his debut with the team in Belgium and his results – seven finishes in the top-six – speak for themselves.

“It’s extremely hard to deny that level of consistency and in tandem with a growing reputation as a tenacious, fiercely committed racer, Alex has proved that he fully deserves to continue his progress with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

“There is plenty of potential still to unlock and we look forward to seeing Alex alongside Max in 2020.”