A racing driver is hoping his career is on for pole position after securing a top drive in Formula 1.

Alex Albon, who is a former pupil at Littlegarth School, in Nayland, will race at tracks across the world after joining team Toro Rosso.

The Formula 1 team, which is powered by Honda, will see Albon graduate to top flight racing.

The British-Thai driver, 22, started out in kart racing and has most recently been taking part in the Formula 2 series where he finished third in the championship.

Alex, who races under the Thai flag, will become the first Thai driver to race in Formula 1 since Prince Birabongse, who raced in the early 1950s.

It has not been a straight forward route to success for Alex who was dropped by championship winning team Red Bull in 2012.

He said: “It’s such an amazing feeling to know that I’m in Formula 1 next year. Throughout my single seater career, I went through a few ups and downs.

“I was dropped by Red Bull in 2012, so from then I knew my road to Formula 1 was going to be a lot harder.

“I worked really hard and tried to impress every time I got in the car, and I have to say a big thank you to Red Bull and Dr Marko for believing in me and giving me a second chance.

“I’ve always been motorsport mad and since I first got in a car it’s been my dream to be in Formula 1. To be given this opportunity is just incredible.”

Alex will be joined by Russian driver Daniil Kvyat at the team.

Peter Jones, headmatser at Littlegarth School, said the whole school was incredibly proud of Alex and his achievements.

He said: “He started karting when he was at the school.

“When he was about seven-years-old, his family came in and said he wanted to do racing.

“We made adjustments to ensure whatever time he took he was still able to build on his skills and keep up with his work.

“Within about 18 months he was almost national karting champion and he used to come in to assemblies showing trophies which were almost as big as him.

“We followed his career after he left very closely.”

Mr Jones said Alex’s journey to top flight success is helping to inspire children who are currently at the school.

“We had one boy who won a karting medal,” he said.

“I was able to talk to them and say Alex was getting medals at that age and his career has got better and better.

“It is incredible to think he was able to shine through at that age and it has been done to sheer determination.”

He added: “To get to F1 is a huge achievement and we can’t wait for him to come back and visit us.”