Christijan Albers (born April 16, 1979, Eindhoven, North Brabant, Netherlands) is a Dutch racing driver who has formerly raced in Formula One. Albers later competed in the DTM series. He served as Team Principal of Caterham in 2014.
Son of successful ace rallycross driver, Andre Albers, Christijan Albers began his racing career at a young age like most successful racing drivers. In 1996 Albers won the National Karting Championship in the Netherlands and the following year was given the chance to compete in the national Formula Ford Championship. Albers cruised to an easy Championship victory in his first year in FFord and for 1998 made another step up in the racing world as he entered the German Formula 3 series with the Dutch team, Van Amersfoort Racing where he finished 5th in the championship with 2 wins in the season. In 1999, Albers remained in F3 for 1999 but now with the more competitve Opal Racing. Albers took the 1999 Championship with 6 wins to his name.
With his major success in the junior leagues, Albers made his first step into senior racing in 2000 in the Formula 3000 World Championship with the Arrows team partnering another future F1 driver Mark Webber. Albers however struggled throughout the season and failed to score a point unlike teammate Webber who managed to acheive a couple of wins. He was dropped by Arrows at the end of the season and Albers in turn decided to walk out on the F3000 series as well after a miserable year.
For 2001, Albers entered into the German Touring Car series ( Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters ) known as DTM. Albers joined the Persson Team one of Mercedes junior DTM teams. Albers had a mildly successful first year in DTM, scoring multiple times in the points however he failed to finish on the podium that year though.
For 2002, Albers moved to the Rosberg team another junior Mercedes team were he had similar success to his first year in DTM.
It was not until 2003, Albers got his real break in the series where he managed to secure a drive for Mercedes works team, AMG. One of the more successful teams in the series. 2003 was a great year for Albers as he won 4 out of 10 races during the year and battled multiple DTM champion Bernd Schneider for the title until the very last race however missed out on the title due to an accident sustained during the race.
For 2004, Albers remained with AMG but the year was less successful than the previous year and only secured one win during the course of the year. However multiple podiums allowed him to secure 3rd in the championship.
After his success in DTM, Albers had got the interest of Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart whom Albers had worked alongside with before in 200 while in F3000 as he was the boss of the Arrows team at the time. Although he disappoited in F3000, Stoddart believed he had matured as a driver since then and set Albers up in a young driver test for the team in late 2004. Albers was the quickest of the young drivers out there and Minardi F1 signed him for an F1 drive in 2005 alongside another F1 debutant, Patrick Friesacher. The Minardi however was an uncompetitve car and Albers consistently finished in the low order pack finishes throughout the season, however he did consistently beat teammate Friesacher. At the 2005 United States Grand Prix, Albers scored his first F1 points finish finishing 5th. However this was due to only 6 cars competing in the event and only Bridgestone runners since the Michelin tyres were considered to unsafe on the circuit for the weekend. Not long after Friesacher was replaced by Robert Doornbos a fellow Dutchman. The remainder of the season however continued to be a disappointment for Albers as no improvement on the cars pace was made.
At the end of 2005, Minardi ran out of funds and sold the team to Red Bull which was renamed Toro Rosso, with this Albers contract with the team ended and he had to look for different pursuits in F1 for 2006. Albers eventually signed with the new Midland team which had just bought out the Jordan F1 Team. Albers was joined by Portugese driver Tiago Monteiro at the team. The Midlands were not at all competitive and were fighting at the back for the last positions in the pack with the new Super Aguri team however Albers did consistently beat teammate Monteiro throughout the season. At the San Marino Grand Prix, Albers collided with the Super Aguri of Yuji Ide which sent him into a number of barrell roles. Ide was blamed for the incident and was repromanded by the stewards. At the German Grand Prix both Midlands were disqualified from the race for the usage of illigal flexing rear wings.
2006 Towards the end of the 2006 season, Midland was bought out by the Spyker F1 team and would go under the Spyker name and livery for the remainder of the season. Both Albers and Monteiro kept their drives within the team, however results did not improve and the team continued to fight at the back.
2007 For 2007, Albers managed to keep his contract in Spyker since his sponsers had much influence over the buy-out of Midland F1 however Monteiro was not so lucky. He was replaced by young German debutant Adrian Sutil. However it was another poor season for Albers and he was consistently outdone by his young teammate Sutil. Throughout the season he performed many blunders which tested the teams patience such as at the Frech Grand Prix during a pitstop, Albers left the pit before his lollipop man gave the all clear signal, the fuel rig was still attached to the car causing it to be ripped off before the team could release it, luckily no one was hurt in the incident. At the midpoint of the season, Albers was released from his contract due to a lack of sponsership money, Albers was left without a drive for the rest of the season.
Although no longer apart of Spyker, Albers desperately looked at signing a drive for some of the low-key teams such as Toro Rosso and Super Aguri for 2008 but negotiations failed and his F1 career was over.
Return to DTMEdit
Without an F1 drive, Albers returned to DTM where he joined the Audi squad with the Futurecom team. The season was a miserable one, the car was terribly uncompetitive and Albers failed to score a point in the season and decided to walk out on DTM again due to this uncompetitveness.
During his contract with Audi in 2008, Albers signed for the Audi American Le Mans series where he participated in one race alongside another former F1 driver, Emanuele Pirro. The pair finished the race in 17th position.
2009 was a low key year for Albers in racing and only participated in one major event throughout the year. Albers competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Kolles team ran by former Midland Technical Director, Colin Kolles. Albers partnered Pirro again and the pair finished 14th in the event.
In July 2014, upon the takeover of Caterham by the Colin Kolles-led consortium, Albers was installed as Team Principal of the team, assisted by Manfredi Ravetto. In September, however, Albers resigned, and was replaced by his assistant.
Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit
Formula One RecordEdit
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|2005||Minardi F1 Team||Minardi-Cosworth||4||19th||Report|
|2006||Midland F1 Racing||Midland-Toyota||0||22nd||Report|
|Spyker MF1 Team|
|2007||Etihad Aldar Spyker F1 Team||Spyker-Ferrari||0||25th||Report|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap|
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