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Albon more 'mature' after year without F1: 'I needed that time'

Albon more 'mature' after year without F1: 'I needed that time'

06-10-2022 17:14 Last update: 12-10-2022 10:23


Alexander Albon climbed back behind the wheel of his Williams after his recent surgery but retired from the race following an incident. A week after his return, the driver discussed his current F1 season and his F1 career so far with GPBlog.

DNF in Singapore good for Albon's recovery

Albon had to miss the Italian Grand Prix because he had appendicitis. In Monza, he had to give the seat to Nyck de Vries as a result. Albon was declared fit enough to participate by doctors in time for the Singapore GP, known to be one of the most physically demanding races of the year. 

"I didn’t get to test myself fully because of the DNF during the race," Albon told GPblog.com. Albon felt fine throughout the weekend and did not suffer any further issues. Still, the DNF wasn't the end of the world: "But at the same time, not finishing the race is good for my recovery in a weird way. I didn’t push myself that hard so had a few more days to recover and rest for this weekend [Japanese Grand Prix]."

Albon looks back on 2022

Albon's DNF did not matter much for the context of the season. Whilst the Williams didn't have the pace compared to the rest of the field, perhaps they could've picked up points given the high number of retirements from the race. But Albon looks back on a successful season with five races to go in 2022. "I think it’s gone really well," Albon said

He stresses that you can look at it in two ways. Williams are disappointed according to the driver. It is not where they would like to be. "At the same time, on a personal point of view, I feel pretty happy. I’ve had a year away from the sport is never easy," the F1 driver added. 

Albon feels that his return to F1 has put him on the map and shown what he is capable of. He cites the Australian and Belgian Grand Prix as good examples. When asked, Albon admits that he has matured as a driver and person off the track. That Albon climbed back behind the wheel in Singapore after surgery and recovery also shows that he is an experienced driver who is comfortable in the car and feels at home at Williams.

A year out of F1 did Albon good

"I think everyone gets more mature. Not just mature in terms of racing, but in terms of what I want in my racing and what I want in life. More relaxed in certain situations, which I think comes with age," Albon added in the interview with GPblog.com

The year away from Formula One has done him good. Instead of never getting a break to reflect, Albon was able to think about what he needed to improve during his year in the DTM. "I felt like I came back more sure of myself. Really had a plan for the year and focused on the things I knew I needed to improve. I don’t think I’d have been able to do it without time."

Albon's F1 career began at Toro Rosso after he had already signed a contract to race in Formula E with Nissan e.Dams in 2019. Albon was offered the chance to drive at Toro Rosso in Formula 1 and took it. His strong first half of the season was immediately rewarded with a promotion to Red Bull Racing. Unfortunately, the expected performance there did not materialise, leaving him on the sidelines in 2021. This year, Albon returned and for next season, Albon is firmly tied with Williams. 

This article was made in collaboration with Ludo van Denderen