Albon looks back: 'I was one of the least prepared F1 drivers ever'

24-01-2022 18:37 | Updated: 24-01-2022 21:04
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Albon looks back: 'I was one of the least prepared F1 drivers ever'

For two years Alexander Albon drove in Formula 1. After a one-year absence, the Thai Briton returns to the king class of motorsport. The new Williams driver looks back on the F1 rollercoaster of the past three years.

The F1 roller coaster of Albon

Actually, the roller coaster of Albon's career started much earlier. At a young age he was on the Red Bull junior team, but in 2012 he was taken out of it. The driver fought his way through the Formula classes without a training program or "sponsor" and reached Formula 2. He drove a particularly difficult year in 2018 and held strong against the likes of George Russell and Lando Norris who only beat him though and had signed a contract for an F1 seat in 2019. In 2019, he would move to Formula E himself; the contract with Nissan e.dams was also already signed.

Very last minute, the Thai still got the chance to enter Formula 1 and return to the Red Bull ranks with a contract at Toro Rosso. Speaking to the Motorsportmagazine podcast Albon says he doesn't want to go too deep into the details of what happened at the time. It was difficult to make the switch from Formula E to Formula 1 after the contracts were signed. Of course, that was the only thing Albon wanted.

Into F1 and out of F1

Albon did well in F1 and particularly quickly got the chance to drive in the Red Bull Racing car alongside Max Verstappen where he replaced Pierre Gasly. Things didn't start off strong in F1 right away; in fact, Albon was by his own admission the worst prepared F1 driver ever. Never had he driven an F1 car when he joined Toro Rosso at the start of the winter tests in Barcelona. At turn four he spun out of control. The F1 rookie wondered what he had gotten himself into.

At Red Bull Racing, his performance in the year and a half following his brief Toro Rosso debut was nowhere near convincing enough. Albon was far in the shadow of teammate Verstappen and was replaced by Sergio Perez after 2020. The announcement that Albon's contract was not renewed had been clear for some time, but still the Thai failed to secure another spot in F1 for 2021. Exactly like in 2012, he kept his teeth together and kept racing. Now, after missing only one year, he is the comeback kid again in 2022.

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