For Alex Albon his simulator work “gets really fun” when he is helping Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez fine-tune their cars at a race.
Albon was switched from a Red Bull race seat into test and reserve driver duties for the 2021 campaign, though his contributions have been vital across a 2021 campaign where Red Bull are chasing the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles.
One of his biggest responsibilities is the simulator and on a race weekend this becomes vital, with Albon working to correlate issues reported by Verstappen and Perez between the track and simulator, before then giving his feedback to the engineers to find a fix.
And it is during this process where the fun times roll.
“That’s when it gets really fun, we listen to the feedback from Verstappen and Perez and their experiences on the track. Then we give our suggestions,” said Albon during the Talking Bull podcast.
“Suppose Verstappen has certain problems or changes he wants to make, we first have to make sure we have the same problems in the simulator as he has.
“For example, if he has a car with rear-end imbalance in turn two, we have to simulate that and make adjustments so that he is happy. That feedback then goes to his engineer.”
This is not a quick process either – Albon is arguably the busiest of all Red Bull-backed drivers as his sim work can leave him with only a few hours between leaving the track and returning for the next day of action.
“We sometimes go until 23:00 and on Saturdays I have to get up again around 3:00/4:00 to go to the track,” he revealed.
“Formula 1 is very hectic, but now it’s maybe even more hectic. I had a week off last week for the first time in four and a half months.”
Albon has admitted before that watching from the sidelines has been like “torture” this season, but thankfully he will return to the grid in 2022 with Williams.
The Thai driver will line-up alongside former F2 team-mate Nicholas Latifi as Formula 1 heads into a new era.