Christijan Albers, a Dutch driver born in Eindhoven on April 16th, 1979, has been competing in Formula One since 2005 where he started out with the Minardi team.
Christijan was born into racing, and his father – Andre Albers – was a rally-cross driver and encouraged his son to compete from an early age. In 1997, he managed to win the Dutch National Karting Championship, and was also crowned the Formula Ford 1800 champion. The following year, Christijan moved onto German F3, and in 1999 won 6 races from 10 poles to take the title.
This success in F3 enabled him to move up the ranks to Formula 3000, and in his first year he competed alongside Mark Webber and under the watchful eye of team boss Paul Stoddart. Although Albers failed to score a point in his debut year, Stoddart admired his young driver and re-signed him for the 2001 season. However DTM beckoned and by 2003, Christijan was driving for the Mercedes Benz AMG works outfit. He became a front-runner and finished second in that years title race, only having lost out in the final event of the year. 2004 proved to be successful again, but Albers couldn’t quite manage the same results as previous, and finished the year in third. However, he continued to work with Paul Stoddart, testing for the Australian’s Minardi Formula One team.
2005 saw Paul Stoddart sign Albers to his Minardi team after an impressive test with the squad in Italy, and Albers scored his first Formula One championship points at the US Grand Prix that year, albeit with only 6 cars competing.
2006 saw Albers move to Midland after Red Bull had bought the under-funded Minardi team. Midland was another new name to Formula One that year, as the company had bought out the former Jordan team. However, a move up the grid wasn’t to be, and while the car did show some promising signs, Albers spent the majority of the year battling with the newly-formed Super Aguri team.
Part way through the 2006 season, it was announced that Dutch car company Spyker had bought the Midland team, and shortly after, they re-signed Albers for the 2007 season. The news of Spyker had re-motivated the team, and with new investment, things were again looking better for Christijan. However, difficulties with his sponsorship arrangement with the team saw Albers being dropped from the squad after the British Grand Prix. He was immediately replaced with test driver Markus Winkelhock, and then by Sakon Yamamoto for the remainder of the 2007 season. Spyker has since been sold by the Dutch motor company to Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya, and it looks increasingly unlikely that Christijan will return to Formula One.