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Alexander Albon

Albon: I was one of the most unprepared drivers ever to get into F1

Alex Albon was given his break in Formula 1 back in 2019 with the then-called Toro Rosso outfit, but it all came at quite short notice.

Albon Red Bull 2021
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Alex Albon feels that he was "one of the most unprepared drivers ever" when he arrived into Formula 1.

The Thai driver had been competing in Formula 2 in 2018 when he was given his debut F1 opportunity for the 2019 season with the AlphaTauri team, then known as Toro Rosso.

However, this move came as quite a surprise, with Albon having initially signed to race in Formula E for Nissan e.dams.

Albon admits that the sudden change in plans all unfolded very quickly.

"It happened very last minute," Albon told the Motor Sport Magazine Podcast.

"I don't want to go into details about how the whole thing kind of happened. But it was a tricky one because, obviously, with Nissan tied up and everything like that, it didn't make it as easy as I wish it had been, to switch from Formula E to Formula 1.

"Obviously, as a driver my age, I always want to be in Formula 1. That's everyone's goal [from] being a kid. But yeah, we just had to find a deal, and once the deal was sorted, that was it."

Signing for F1 without doing a test day

Albon discovered he would be racing in F1 towards the very end of his Formula 2 career, and was surprised to have finally been given an opportunity that at times he had felt would never arrive.

"It was such a quick process," Albon explained.

"And at no point until kind of late Russia [towards the end of the F2 season], had I ever thought F1 was possible, because I spent so long [having] never been part of a programme, never been really approached by a programme, never kind of having this opportunity.

"And then suddenly, literally, at the last two races of my Formula 2 career, I got this opportunity and I was in F1."

Given the speed at which this happened, Albon thinks he was not well prepared for Formula 1, especially given his lack of testing.

"I was one of the most unprepared drivers, I think, ever to get into F1," he said.

"Because I think everyone's done testing before they arrive into F1, but my first test was literally the day one of Barcelona winter testing, and that was it. And I spun! I spun straightaway. I spun in Turn 4.

"And I was like, 'Oh my God, what have I got myself into?'"

During his debut year with Toro Rosso, Albon was promoted to the main Red Bull outfit to swap seats with Pierre Gasly. He went on to complete a full season as Max Verstappen's teammate in 2020, before being replaced by Sergio Perez for 2021.

Albon spent a year continuing to work with the team as a reserve and test driver, but will make his return to the grid in 2022 with Williams.

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