Record updated 16-Apr-07
Christijan Albers, the son of former rallycross ace and Porsche campaigner AndrÃ© Albers, is a Dutch racing driver, currently competing in Formula One with the Spyker F1 team.
The son of former rallycross ace and Porsche campaigner André Albers, whos best overall result ever was to win the 1979 Dutch International Rallycross Championship (GT Division), Albers began karting at a young age. He won the Dutch National championship in 1997 and same year, he was crowned Formula Ford 1800 champion in both Netherlands and Belgium. He also participated in the Renault Megane Marlboro Masters series.
Deciding to skip Formula Renault, Albers then moved straight into Formula Three for 1998, although he had to move to Germany to do so. He still kept Dutch links, however, teaming up with the van Amersfoort operation that had helped countryman Jos Verstappen in his early years.
Although he only finished fifth in the championship, Albers managed to take a couple of race wins, including one at the tricky Norisring street circuit. He then switched to Bertram Shafer's BSR squad for the following year, and was rewarded with the overall title, as well as six race wins and ten pole positions.
Formula 3000 beckoned for 2000, where he signed for Paul Stoddart's European Arrows team alongside Mark Webber, but the season didn't go to plan for either team or driver, despite Webber winning at Silverstone. Albers struggled to make the transition from F3 and failed to score in any of the ten races.
He was toying with the idea of another season in the F1 feeder series when Mercedes offered the chance to join its DTM touring car line-up, albeit in a year-old car with Team Persson. Albers accepted, moving away from single-seaters for the first time since that Megane victory at Zandvoort. The DTM ride proved to be a good one for the Dutchman, although he only managed a single second place against a strong 'works' field, and led to a move to the Rosberg team for 2002. He had not completely severed his ties with Stoddart, however, and was awarded a maiden F1 test with Minardi.
Another strong year in the DTM put Albers in the right place at the right time when Mercedes factory driver Uwe Alzen quit on the eve of the 2003 campaign. Drafted in to the works HWA line-up, he immediately proved to be a frontrunner in current machinery, winning four races and eventually finishing as runner-up to series champion Bernd Schneider after a tense finale at Hockenheim. His F1 links with Minardi also continued, and strengthened with Stoddart in charge of the team, leading to both testing and F1x2 two-seater outings in 2002-03.
Despite being linked to a possible race ride with Minardi in 2004, reported to be funded by sponsors previously loyal to Verstappen, he remained with HWA in the DTM, although the season wasn't quite as successful as the previous one, and he finished third overall behind Mathias Ekstrom and Gary Paffett with just one win to his name.
He still proved to be in demand in F1 circles, however, with Jordan offering a mid-season test - which Albers subsequently cancelled to concentrate on DTM matters - and then another at the end of the year, which was accepted.
Unsure of whether he was in the frame for a race opportunity at either of the grand prix backmarkers, however, the Dutchman also took the opportunity to sample one of Derrick Walker's Champ Cars, and appeared to be on the verge of a deal to race in the USA, before Stoddart managed to finalise a Minardi seat.
In November 2004, Albers easily set the fastest time at a Misano di Gera d'Adda Minardi test session, despite running a mere 20 laps. He was chosen by the team to drive in the Formula One World Championship in 2005. In the 2005 United States Grand Prix he gained his first championship points for a 5th place finish.
On the 31st of October 2005, Albers was confirmed as Midland's first official Formula One driver. Midland, the re-badged Jordan team, would make their debut in the 2006 Formula One season.
In October 2005, Albers was confirmed as Midland's first Formula One driver. Midland, the re-badged Jordan team, made their debut in the 2006 Formula One season.
Albers started the 2006 season well, out-pacing Midland teammate Tiago Monteiro. However, during the first few races, Midland found themselves battling with the Super Aguri team, particularly Takuma Sato. At the 2006 San Marino grand prix, Albers found himself being crashed into by Yuji Ide and sent into a series of spectacular rolls. Fortunately, he was unharmed. Ide was reprimanded by the race stewards for his part in the incident.
After initial confusion over Albers' plans for 2007 after the takeover of MF1 by Spyker Cars, it was eventually confirmed that he would be driving for the Spyker F1 team in 2007.