After putting in 100km during an approved filming day at Silverstone, Thailand’s Alexander Albon sat down for a quick Q&A session ahead of the Austria grand prix.
What have you missed most about racing?
I’ve missed just the feeling of the speed, being in the car, kind of that process of arriving to the track and perfecting on a lap, and pushing it to the limits. It feels very strange to be at home and not having that sense of speed. Doing the filming day was just a highlight of that where I was a bit like, ‘My God, this thing is so fast!’ You kind of think it feels so good to be back in it.
How do you feel and are you ready to hit the ground running in Austria?
I feel good. There’s so much time that, with any driver, there’s going to be that level of uncertainty as to what’s going to happen. I’m glad I did the filming day to get that initial dust off my shoulders but I’m excited, I think we’ve all been waiting for this. There’s been a long drought, we all do this because we love it and we’ve missed it, so I can’t wait to get started.
How will having back-to-back races at the same circuit affect the way you approach the weekend?
The dynamic is more or less very similar on that first race weekend, so the first race weekend you would treat like another one, procedural things like FP1, FP2, FP3 would always be the same. Where it changes most probably is that second weekend where you’ve got a perfect opportunity to directly compare to your first weekend, try some things which are very risky to try during a normal race weekend because it’s a new track and everything has changed. Now you’ve got the same circuit, pretty much the same weather and you can try things so I’m sure every team is going to treat the second weekend with a bit more risk and try some things out because you know if it doesn’t work out you can go back to your first weekend car.
In this condensed 2020 season, will driver fitness play a bigger part in performance this year?
I think there’s definitely an element to it. The first two races not too much, Austria is quite an easy circuit with few corners and quite a lot of breathing time in between with the long straights. Once we get to Hungary, that will quickly change and normally we will arrive to Hungary with how ever many rounds we’ve done and so by the time we’re there, it’s all easy flowing. It will be three weeks (in a row) so we won’t have much rest. It does play a part, Hungary, Singapore last year for instance, there is performance in your fitness so yeah it will do – if it’s a tiebreaker we’ll see.
PHOTO CREDIT: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Red Bull Racing poses for a photo during the Red Bull Racing RB16 Filming Day at Silverstone Circuit on June 25, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)