It took a little while, but Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon says he is adapting nicely to the “F1 circus”.
The Thai-British driver was all set to join Nissan e.dams in Formula E this season, but he received a surprise call to return to the Red Bull fold with Toro Rosso, despite not having turned a wheel in modern Formula 1 machinery before.
Before the team’s shakedown of their STR14 prior to pre-season testing in Barcelona, Albon hadn’t even completed enough mileage to earn his superlicence, the only driver on the grid to be in that situation.
Despite finding Formula 1 “daunting” at first, Albon has made a solid start to his career in the series, taking seven points from as many races.
“The F1 circus isn’t so crazy once you’ve spent time in it,” he told reporters.
“You just adjust to it and everything becomes normal. I’m getting there. At the beginning it was a bit daunting in some respects how much stuff you had to do. Now it’s more like, you get used to it.”
Albon took four wins on his way to P3 in the 2018 F2 Championship, and while delighted to score points in Bahrain and Monaco, his third points-finish of 2019 in China remains his highlight as he went from a pitlane start to P10.
The support from Toro Rosso has been a huge aid to Albon, though he accepts that he is still in a learning phase.
“Early points was always good for me. I’m happy with the team as well. I feel very comfortable with them, I don’t feel stressed out or anything like that. I’ve got a lot of support from these guys and the feeling is good.” Albon explained.
“I’m still learning. It always feels like you finish a weekend and you’re like ‘I wish I knew that’. It’s been like that for the last six races. So I’m always learning and I’m getting better too but it’s not easy.”