Is Alex Albon British? The shameful erasure of his heritage

Albon was born in London but races under a Thai flag in Formula 1

-

Is Alex Albon British? Despite being born in London, in the heart of the United Kingdom, the Formula 1 racer is regularly left out of ‘British’ media posts and conversations, so why is the 28-year-old’s heritage overlooked?

As mentioned, Albon was born in London in 1996 to Nigel Albon, a former racing driver, and he grew up just outside of the capital in Bures, Suffolk. If you listened to him talk you wouldn’t think he’s anything other than British.

But he has a mother from Thailand, races under a Thai license and for some reason, this seems to be enough to exclude him from being ranked in the British drivers on the grid despite the inclusion of Oliver Bearman in the discussion already.

As a result of that, despite being born just two hours away from the home of the 2024 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, he sadly doesn’t view it as his ‘home’ GP like Lewis Hamilton or Lando Norris do, electing to consider it as important as the Singapore GP in Asia.

“I would call it a second home race,” Albon said to Crash.net in 2022. “It’s as much of a home race as Singapore is. But I have a close connection with the UK and with Silverstone.

“I live 25 minutes away from Silverstone, at least my family do. Strangely enough, I haven’t actually driven that many times around Silverstone. But I live close by.” 

The seeming erasure of his birth-right of Alex Albon within British culture is something that bothers him and he’s spoken about it in the past by suggesting there is a racially-driven bias against him as he believes he’s only seen as ‘British’ when he succeeds.

“Well it depends,” Albon said, on if he feels accepted as British. “Either, I’m called the London-born Thai if I do a good job, or I’m not British at all if I do a bad job!”

Albon added, “I still consider myself as Thai, truthfully.”

Alex Albon in the Imola paddock at the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | Williams F1 Team

Albon’s British identity erasure rife with hypocrisy

Albon‘s half-Thai legacy meaning he shouldn’t be included in promotional work for the Grand Prix is laughable at best. You only have to look to other British drivers on the grid to glance at the diverse heritage of the United Kingdom to be something to celebrate.

Lando Norris, for example, is half-Belgian through his mother but is just as British as Albon is and likewise, Lewis Hamilton has heritage from Grenada in the Caribbean which is something he’s celebrated on his own crash helmets.

But because they choose to race under a British license it means they should be viewed as ‘more British’ than Albon, despite the trio all being born and raised in the same culture and same part of the world?

Of course, you only have to look over to the world champion, Max Verstappen, of who it is seemingly perfectly okay to credit the Belgian GP to as a ‘home race’, despite him picking to race under the Dutch license, considering himself “more Dutch” than Belgian…

Fans lash out at F1 bias

The conversation about Alex Albon’s British identity has been around for some time and his comments only add to the tragedy that despite being raised in the UK, he doesn’t feel as though it’s his ‘true’ home as much as the other Brits on the grid do.

So, when Silverstone included Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and George Russell on artwork promoting the 2024 British GP, featuring their race suits, cars and the British flags, but left Albon out, social media finally hit back in his defence.

A big F1 social media personality, @TwommoF1, with over 131,000 followers posted to X.com, formerly Twitter, “FAO @SilverstoneUK. Alex is clearly proud of his heritage, but he’s no less British than any of these 3.”

Fans in the comments concurred as one user wrote, “Thank you!!!! I always class Alex as a British driver. I know he doesn’t drive under the British flag but he deserves to be on all the posters and advertising at Silverstone.”

A second added, “Peoples argument of but actually he races under the Thai flag but his dad is British he is born British at least acknowledge his existence as a brit there’s literally no harm he already doesn’t have a home gp this is his home gp for the foreseeable future.”

And a third wrote, “Shouldn’t even be a discussion imo, he races under the Thai flag – Zhou grew up in Sheffield, but he races under the Chinese flag it’s very pointless discourse.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Fernando Alonso during practice ahead of the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix | Aston Martin F1 Team

F1 2024 Hungarian GP – Practice 2 Results

0
As the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix race weekend is well underway and Lando Norris set the fastest time in...
Charles Leclerc at the 2024 British GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 Hungarian GP 2024 Free Practice 2 – Norris tops times as Leclerc crashes...

0
Welcome to Total-Motorsport’s live F1 coverage of the Hungarian GP 2024 FP2 session, where Carlos Sainz looks to remain top of...
Jaguar driver Mitch Evans at the 2024 Portland E-Prix | Formula E

Evans and Cassidy expect no help as Porsche enlist Andretti assistance

0
Jaguar drivers Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy are not expecting any help from Envision in the 2024 Formula E...
Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Hungarian GP 2024 Free Practice 1

0
Welcome to Total-Motorsport’s live F1 coverage of the Hungarian GP 2024 Free Practice 1 session. The Max Verstappen era of...
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz look on at the 2024 British GP | Scuderia Ferrari

Why Ferrari must join fight at front for Hungarian GP

0
The last four Formula 1 race weekends have been sensational as Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes fought hard for...

F1 drivers back Ralf Schumacher after he comes out as gay

0
Ralf Schumacher became the second ever Formula 1 driver to come out as gay in a brave announcement that...
Oscar Piastri in the pit garage at the 2024 Austrian GP | McLaren F1 Team

Oscar Piastri reveals where inexperienced McLaren are losing F1 title fight

0
Oscar Piastri admits McLaren are very inexperienced compared to their Formula 1 competitors and they are learning on the...
Mitch Evans and Nick Cassidy celebrate their 1-2 at the 2024 Monaco E-Prix | Formula E

The road to Formula E: Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans’ journey to Jaguar

0
Jaguar drivers Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans go into the 2024 Formula E season finale with just 12 points...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his podium at the 2024 Spanish GP | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham

F1 2026 regulations: Lewis Hamilton urges FIA to consider changes

0
Lewis Hamilton has called on the FIA to reconsider their F1 2026 regulation changes to make sure they benefit...
Ryan Blaney celebrates victory at The Great American Getaway 400 | NASCAR

How cautions helped Ryan Blaney win at Pocono

0
At the NASCAR Cup Series' Gateway race in June, Ryan Blaney's crew chief Jonathan Hassler decided to gamble on...
- Advertisment -