Milton Keynes has become a hub of motor-racing in recent years with Red Bull setting up shop and Silverstone just around the corner, writes Liam Andrews.
And there’s a new name on the block hoping to make his mark on the sport and eventually make the step up into Formula One.
Alex Albon, who lives in Willen, finished as the vice-champion in the 2016 GP3 Series and helped ART Grand Prix become Team Champions.
And the 20-year-old has set his sights on one day becoming the next big name in the world of motorsport.
He explained: “The dream’s Formula One, but I can speak on behalf of almost every racing driver that it’s our dream.
“It is really difficult, it takes budget, and of course it takes talent. To make a career out of motorsport is hard enough as it is.
“F1 is the main goal, but earning money from full-time racing is a goal as well. This year I’ll be doing GP2, which is a step up, and it’s a step below Formula One.
“It’s going to be my rookie year and my goal is pretty much what I set myself last year and the year before – to take each race as it comes.
“I am a rookie but of course I still have pretty high expectations and put more pressure on myself, so we’ll see how it goes.”
But it’s not always been plain sailing for the youngster who admitted he struggled to adapt from taking the step up from karting after initially moving to Milton Keynes as part of Red Bull’s Junior Team.
He added: “2016 was a really good year actually. I would say it’s the first really good year I’ve had since karting. When I moved into single seaters it was really kind of a blow, I really struggled and it was a dip in my career.
“It just took a while to get used to because it is just so different to karting. Last year was almost a take off year where I wasn’t really on anyone’s list to be fighting at the top, but I’m very thankful to the team.
“Motorsport is not like tennis or football where you really show your talents, racing’s a lot about your machinery.
“In GP3 it’s standardised so every car is the same but you can still make little tweaks. ART are the best in the business. You really have to be with the best teams to show how good you are.”
And despite being a professional in the sport now, Alex still enjoys going back to his roots by racing for leisure in Milton Keynes.
He said: “There are a lot of racing drivers around this area just because you’re near Silverstone, and you’re near a lot of the F1 teams.
“You’ve got Red Bull, Force India, Mercedes, it’s like the racing driver hub of the country! It’s amazing how many people follow racing in Milton Keynes.
“Even now we pop down to Daytona and have a bash around there. It’s honestly really good – for rental karting it must be one of the best places in England.”
This article was first published in the March issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the digital edition by clicking here.