Williams team principal Jost Capito believes Alex Albon was not in as bad a condition as feared in the media, and was “safe to drive” in Singapore.
Albon was forced to miss the Italian Grand Prix at short notice after being taken ill with appendicitis, but complications during routine surgery saw him suffer respiratory failure and moved into intensive care.
Friend and former Williams driver George Russell admitted things got “very scary” at one point when he was in touch with Albon’s family, but the Thai-British driver was able to work his way back to fitness in time to race in Singapore.
Nyck de Vries scored points as Albon’s last-minute replacement in Italy, but the Williams boss praised Albon’s work behind the scenes as he got himself back to fitness in time for the most physically demanding race of the season.
“Of course it wasn’t quite a nice situation in Monza,” Capito said in Singapore at the weekend, per Formula1.com.
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“I think the team had to react and reacted well, getting Nyck in the car and getting him ready and he did a great performance.
“But no, I don’t think the situation was as serious as some media made it believe. So he was recovering now since Monza, he is on track with his recovery, he has a very good physio and trainer.
“So he is where he should be now and it was hard for him yesterday [Friday practice]. It will be hard for him today, but I think this race is hard for everybody.
“So he’s 100% fit, but maybe not 100% yet at his strengths, maybe 90, 95. But it’s safe for him to drive.”
Albon retired midway through the race on Sunday, but appeared to not show too many outward signs of being off the pace throughout the weekend.
He admitted he had been “coping better than expected” after making his surprise return at Marina Bay, adding at the weekend: “It feels okay when I’m in the car, generally speaking. It’s more just the heat! When you get out, you can feel that it’s obviously physical. But I feel like there’s no big issues so I’m feeling pretty good.”