And now Hartley has finally been put out of his misery, with the Red Bull junior team announcing Albon as his replacement for next season.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to know that I’m in Formula 1 next year,” said the Anglo-Thai racer, who finished behind two more 2019 drivers in George Russell and Lando Norris in F2 this 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.”
Albon was due to race for Nissan in Formula E, but Toro Rosso have been successful in releasing him from that contract.
“Alexander had an impressive Formula 2 season in 2018,” added team principal Franz Tost.
“He won four races and finished the Championship third. The way he is able to overtake many of his rivals in the races shows that he is ready and matured to race in Formula 1.
“Scuderia Toro Rosso is very much looking forward to 2019, as with Daniil and Alex we have two young, very strong and competitive drivers.”
The announcement all-but confirms the 2019 grid, with Lance Stroll’s move to Force India all done bar official confirmation.