Thai F1 Drivers Albon & Bira – Talent and Royalty

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Thai F1 drivers

F1 driver stats - Thailand

Below are some statitics from all of the F1 drivers from Thailand combined.

Thai F1 Drivers
Number of F1 drivers 2
World championship titles 0
Grand Prix competed in 100
Race wins 0
Podiums 2
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
Thai drivers on current F1 grid 1

The two Thai Formula One championship drivers

In the history of the sport, only two F1 drivers have ever come from Thailand, and they raced over 65 years apart. One came from royalty, the other is still in the sport and consistently delivers outstanding performances in a car that’s a little off the pace.

Find out more about the two drivers below.

Prince Bira

  • Previous teams: Ecurie, Gordini, Connaught, Scudeira Milano, Maserati
  • First season: 1950
  • Last season: 1955
  • World championships: 0
  • Wins: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Pole positions: 0
  • Number of GP starts: 19
  • DOB: 15 July 1914
  • Hometown: Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Prince Bira (officially known as Birabongse Bhanudej) was a member of the Thai Royal family. At the age of 13 he was sent to England for his education, and first got in to motor racing when he was 25 with his cousin, driving a Riley Imp at Brooklands circuit.

Prince Bira Thai F1 racing driver

Image licensed under CC0 1.0

He was the first Thai driver to compete in motorsport on an international level, and he helped set the national racing colours for Thailand of pale blue and yellow.

He competed in Formula 1 from 1950 to 1955 and his best results were two 4th place finishes. He also won two races that were non-championship rounds.

He remained the only Southeast Asian driver to compete in F1 until the Malaysian driver Alex Yoong joined the grid in 2001. He was also the only Thai driver to start a Grand Prix until Alex Albon’s debut in 2019.

Alex Albon

  • Previous teams: Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Alpha Tauri
  • Current team: Williams Racing
  • First season: 2019
  • Last season: Current
  • World championships: 0
  • Wins: 0
  • Podiums: 2
  • Pole positions: 0
  • Number of GP starts: 81
  • DOB: 23rd March 1996
  • Hometown: London, England
Alex Albon

Image licensed under CC BY 2.0

Alexander Albon is only the second of two Formula One drivers to have come from Thailand, and is still present on the F1 grid. He was born in England is is dual British-Thai nationality. His mother is from Thailand and he competes under the Thai flag.

Albon’s motorsport career started on the go kart track, and between 2006 and 2010 he won almost every karting championship he entered.

In 2012 he moved up to racing in Formula Renault but had a tough start to his single seater career. By 2014 he’d managed to string together some better performances, finishing the FR Eurocup championship in 3rd place. He then progressed to GP3 where he finished 2nd in the 2016 championship and Formula 2 where he bagged 3rd place at the end of the 2018 season.

Alex Albon wave

Image licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Toro Rosso

The next year he was recruited by Red Bull to drive for their junior Formula 1 team Toro Rosso alongside the Russian F1 driver Daniil Kvyat.

He scored his first points in the second race of the season at Bahrain, finishing in 9th place. After a run of decent results, Red Bull Racing announced that Albon would be moving up to drive form them half way through the season, demoting Pierre Gasly back to Toro Rosso.

Red Bull Racing

Albon was now teammates with the blisteringly quick Max Verstappen. Of the 9 races he completed for Red Bull, he finished in the top 6 in all but one of them.

That was enough for Red Bull to keep him on for the 2020 season, in which Albon managed two podium finishes, the first Thai driver to ever to stand on the podium. He scored a total of 12 top-ten results and ended the year in 7th place with 105 points, less than half that of teammate Verstappen’s 214 points.

The following year he was demoted to a reserve driver roll, his seat taken by Sergio Perez.

Alex Albon Red Bull 2020

Image licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Williams Racing

In 2022 he was contracted to join Williams and since then he’s consistently produced performances where many, me included, believe have achieved much more than the Williams car has been capable of.

We haven’t yet seen the best of Albon. He’s still one of the most talented and promising drivers on the grid, and who knows which team he might end up driving for in the future if he keeps performing the way he has been recently. 

Alex Albon’s best qualifying position is 4th place, which he’s managed four times in his F1 career. Albon’s best Grand Prix finishing position is 3rd place, which he’s managed twice.

Alex Albon Williams

Image licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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