Suffolk F1 star opens up on ‘tough’ early years in county in new Netflix documentary

Alexander Albon opened up on his early years in Suffolk during the show Picture: FRED MURRAY/ RED BU

Alexander Albon opened up on his early years in Suffolk during the show Picture: FRED MURRAY/ RED BULL CONTENT POOL - Credit: Archant

Suffolk racing driver Alex Albon has opened up about his early life in a new documentary on Netflix.

Alex Albon on the track at the Austrian Grand Prix Picture: PHILIP PLATZER/ RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Alex Albon on the track at the Austrian Grand Prix Picture: PHILIP PLATZER/ RED BULL CONTENT POOL - Credit: Archant

Alex, 24, grew up in Bures near Sudbury for part of his early life attending Littlegarth School in Nayland and later Ipswich School.

Part of the drivers younger years are now documented in the second series of the Drive to Survive programme on Netflix.

The show follows a number of the stars of F1 over the course of last season and digs into the person behind the driver.

In Albon’s case a great deal of time is given over to a rather sensitive subject; the jailing of his mother Kankamol for fraud in 2012.

Kankamol admitted seven counts of dishonestly making a gain by false representation after a long investigation by Suffolk police.

“It was a tough period, obviously I was in court,” said Alex.

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“I saw everything happen. I saw her get locked up and taken away.

“She was in and then she got out mid -2015. It was a tough period.

“I was 15 and the man of the house. I was looking after my siblings and all that kind of thing when she was on what we call her holiday.”

At the time of his mother’s imprisonment Albon was a Red Bull junior driver but the increased pressure saw him struggle to get good results.

“I was a bit of a lost sheep,” said Alex.

“Just having to deal with the pressures of family life as well as actual racing life.

“I didn’t have the right mindset and I got dropped.”

With no money Alex and his family turned to his Thai connections to find sponsors to help continue his racing.

Eventually his results improved, the experience he says left him even hungrier for success.

Alex’s mother Kankamol also briefly reflected on the situation.

“Alex has been through a lot,” said Kankamol.

“Yes I did wrong. I’ve paid for what I have done and Alex has forgiven me.”

READ MORE: ‘He is a role model’ - F1 star Alex Albon praised by his former school headteacher

As well as reflecting on the impact of his mother’s court case the episode also looks at his promotion the senior Red Bull Racing side ahead of last year’s Belgian Grand Prix and the impact of the death of Alex’s former F2 competitor Anthoine Hubert.

Alex had been due to start his second season in F1 at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15.

However, coronavirus concerns saw the race cancelled at the last minute.

It’s not clear when the Suffolk racer will be back on track; at the time of writing the first eight races of the new season have been either cancelled or postponed.

This means that Albon’s first race could be in Canada on June 14.

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