Belgian Grand Prix – Recently promoted Red Bull driver Alex Albon says he’s looking forward to comparing his new car to his recently vacated Toro Rosso.
Alex Albon begins the second half of the 2019 season with another steep learning curve. Having driven for Toro Rosso for the first 12 races of the year, his debut season has kicked up a gear following his promotion to the Red Bull team to replace the underperforming Pierre Gasly.
Albon says he’s aware of the size of the task ahead to learn how to unlock his new car’s potential quickly, but says he’s relishing the chance to compare how a proven race winning car feels to his Toro Rosso: “Not many drivers get the chance to drive a car capable of winning a race so early in their F1 career, so it’s a great opportunity to be driving for Red Bull. It’s a big step, a big difference, and the factory’s a lot closer to my house which is handy!”
“We know what the car is capable of and we’ve seen what Max has been able to do this year. I want to see what it’s like compared to what I’m used to, but at the same time, I know this weekend is my first time in the car, I’m still learning and improving as a driver and there’s definitely more to come.”
“I know one of the main differences will be the noise and attention that comes with the move but I’m keeping my feet on the ground. I’m just focusing on the job I have to do for Spa, I’ll be doing a lot of listening and observing.”
Speaking about the circuit itself, Albon said his record is a bit up and down at the Belgian venue. Winning in Formula 3 in 2015, he finished solidly midfield in GP3, outside the points in his first year in F2 before a P5 and a P3 finish during last year’s F2 round: “The track is cool and I think it’s one that everyone loves. It’s definitely a drivers track, it’s quick and there aren’t many run-off areas. It kind of goes back to that old school driving feeling where you really feel like you’re on the limit and you know if you make a mistake, you’re in the wall. That’s something that drivers crave.”
“Spa hasn’t necessarily been that successful of a track for me, but we got podiums there in Formula 2 last year so it’s still been good. Also, you never know what’s going to happen there with the weather. We’ve got as much simulator prep done as we can, so now it’s about going through procedural things with the Team and getting to know everyone. It should be good! This is a big step, but I feel I’ve been through these big jumps before and taken the opportunities – I’m not worried about that. I’m focused and ready to be as strong as possible for the second half of the year.”