Alexander Albon believes the biggest test of his debut Formula 1 season will be showing strong performance quickly, given his lack of experience in current machinery.
The Thai-British driver will partner Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso, but was only confirmed after the final race of 2018 and was unable to test for the team in Abu Dhabi. Albon has not driven an F1 car before, so his first proper running will come during pre-season testing and he admits it will be tough to be fully prepared for the Australian Grand Prix with such limited track time.
“I’d say basically just getting up to speed quick enough (will be the biggest challenge),” Albon said during a Toro Rosso Q&A. “We have four days of testing in Barcelona and I haven’t driven an F1 car before. So there won’t be a lot of time before Melbourne.
“Obviously these cars, they are very different compared to Formula 2 — they’re a lot faster. So it will just be about trying to get up to speed, learning the car, even just learning the steering wheel.
“I’d say driving the car is the main thing I’m looking forward to, but maybe traveling will be a good side to it. I haven’t been to America before and all that side. And then also Asia, going to Japan and Singapore, I think that will be really cool.”
Until testing gets underway in Barcelona next month, Albon says his focus has been on preparing for the physical challenges of stepping up from F2 to F1.
“Most of it is training. It sounds a bit boring but that is what we do … I’ve just come back from doing neck tests, cardio tests, blood tests, scans, all that kind of thing. Obviously trying to build up this neck as much as possible. It is going to be demanding so that’s the main focus right now. I have my trainer with me and am just trying to get in the best shape possible before Melbourne.”