Adapting to life in Formula 1, Alexander Albon says what he learnt from Australia is that he can push harder in an F1 car than he could in Formula 2.
Albon is one of three drivers stepping up from Formula 2 this season and, like Lando Norris and George Russell, is having to adjust to driving a very different machine.
One aspect that the Toro Rosso rookie noted in Australia was that in his STR14 he can drive at “95 per cent” and push harder.
“What impressed me most was the driving,” Albon said.
“In Formula 2 you’re driving at 90 per cent most of the time, to save the tyres.
“In Formula 1 it’s more like 95 per cent, so generally you can push a bit more.
“The thing is when you’re following cars it’s really, really bad.
“Battling is really difficult and you can’t spend more than two laps in a row without overheating them, so I was just learning this.
“Following cars was actually better than I expected.
“Part of that was the new regulations, but it’s still not easy to overtake.
“I think Melbourne is the easiest example for this, but when you’re battling with other cars, maintaining your tyres is more difficult to do.”
Albon put in a good showing in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, lining up 13th on the grid, two places ahead of his team-mate Daniil Kvyat.
However, come the end of the 58-lap race he had fallen to 14th place.
He reckons he would have avoid many of the problems, and traffic, he had on the Sunday if he had made it into Q3 on the Saturday.
“The race didn’t go quite as we wanted it to, but looking back I don’t think there’s anything we could have done differently.
“We were just unlucky. We had Norris, Giovinazzi, Perez and myself in a train and we spent four laps there.
“I think we lost three or four second per lap behind them, so all the people that were on clear track got past us. Obviously, it’s not easy to overtake on this track, so I spent most of my race behind an orange or a pink rear wing.
“A lot of the problems we had in the race wouldn’t have happened if we had got ourselves into Q3 – so lesson learned, that’s for sure and it just shows you how tight the midfield is.
“It means getting a good position, in Q3, in front of the other guys, is vital.
“I’m happy with the final result and I think there are a lot of good things to take into Bahrain.”