It’s a huge day for Alexander Albon. The Thai-British driver will contest his first-ever F1 race for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. In addition to that, Albon, along with Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, will also receive Honda’s third engine upgrade of the Formula 1 season at the upcoming Belgian GP event.

The F1 rookie Albon has been promoted to Red Bull at the expense of the French F1 driver Pierre Gasly.

The rookie is set to start his F1 debut from the back of the grid at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the official venue for Belgian Grand Prix.

The Honda’s latest upgrade will introduce a new Spec 4 engine for the upcoming F1 racing event, Belgium GP. However, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly will not get this latest updated power unit. The F1 engine manufacturer introduced its first engine upgrade of the year in Azerbaijan GP and its second engine upgrades in France.

The drivers’ swap and the engine allocations

As mentioned earlier by Motorsports Week, Honda will be focusing more on improving reliability and performance. The main goal is to achieve better results in both teams (Red Bull and Toro Rosso) in this season.

In a recent interview with media, Honda’s F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe made some interesting discussion and even confirmed Honda’s plan for this season.

He said that, for a strategic reason, only Alexander Albon and Daniil Kvyat will use the new Honda power unit.

Tanabe also explained to the media that the recent driver swap between Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly has no effect on how the team operates at the racetrack. The Thai-British driver Alexander Albon has been called up by Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team to replace the French driver Pierre Gasly who has moved to Red Bull’s sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso, according to the Motorsports Week website.

Red Bull’s decision to promote the Thai-British driver Albon to Red Bull and dropped the French driver to Toro Rosso also has implications for the two racing drivers’ engine allocation, according to Crash.netUnder the F1 regulations, when an F1 driver changes teams or made a swap, the racing driver will take over the engine allocation of the racing driver that he replaced, so Albon gets Gasly’s engine allocation and Gasly takes over Albon ‘s power unit.

Albon to get a bad start

Red Bull’s new driver Alexander Albon might have a bad start during his F1 race. The former Toro Rosso driver will take a grid penalty for taking on Honda’s latest updated engine, the new Spec 4 engine. Under the F1 rules, the former Toro Rosso driver will be able to keep all the points that he earned in his first 12 of this season, but he will get Gasly’s engine number.

Albon will be joining fellow Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, who also get the Honda engine upgrade, in taking the F1 grid penalties.

Red Bull plans to use the next nine F1 races to evaluate Albon’s racing performance in order to make an informed decision as to who will join Red Bull F1 driver Max Verstappen next year. Watch Red Bull's introduction about their new driver Alexander Albon.

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