Alex Albon has let his fans know he feels fit for the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix, following a pair of scary crashes for the Thai driver and Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone last weekend – Albon also confirming that Williams’ extensive upgrade package for the British Grand Prix was “salvageable”.
Starting P16 at Silverstone in the upgraded Williams – his team-mate Nicholas Latifi having rated the un-updated car P10 – Albon made contact with Sebastian Vettel on the run at Turn 1, who sent his Williams spinning, reclaiming the Alpine by Esteban Ocon and that of AlphaTauri. Yuki Tsunoda.
Although visually it was Zhou’s crash that was the most dramatic, as the Chinese driver’s car flipped into the barriers, it was Albon who was taken to hospital for precautionary checks while that Zhou and George Russell were given the green light by the medical center. But speaking in an interview on Williams’ website on Wednesday, Albon – who was discharged from hospital on Sunday evening – confirmed he was back in shape and preparing for Austria.
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“I’m happy to say that after everything that happened at Silverstone, I feel good!” he said. “I had a pretty relaxing few days and used that time to recuperate. I’m in the simulator today and just trying to draw attention to Austria.
“Obviously Silverstone didn’t go as planned. It all happened so fast. I only really saw what really happened with the crash when I watched replays. But it was just one of those things. The good thing is that it looks like our aero package is salvageable. The guys are now working very hard to sort this out and be ready for Austria.
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Albon also told how he managed to follow the race from his bed in Coventry Hospital, while reaffirming that he suffered no ill effects from the accident – although he admitted that the effects on his body had been greater than him. expected.
“For my part, I feel more or less back to normal. I’m just going a bit more leisurely with Patrick, my performance coach, and making sure I’m back in top form for Friday,” Albon said. “Obviously it can seem quite dramatic when people go to hospital. But to reassure everyone, I just went and did precautionary checks. It’s standard procedure, really. They have the best people working in Formula 1, so I was airlifted to hospital as a precaution.
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“I felt a bit uneasy and the accident seemed bigger than it actually was. On my body it looked like a bigger accident than expected. Of course it wasn’t ideal, but it ended up being just a few bumps and bruises. Nothing major at all so it all worked out fine in the end… I was playing Sudoku in the hospital bed with Lily, my girlfriend, and I was also watching the race on my phone!
With his eyes now on the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend – with the return of the Sprint format for the first time since Imola – Albon said it will likely be a valuable learning weekend for Williams, after the he team failed to accumulate the data they would have liked from an interrupted weekend at Silverstone.
“We are looking to Austria now. Having been a Red Bull driver, it’s a place I know well,” said Albon. “On paper, I think it’s a track that Williams has done pretty well in the past. George [Russell] we had some very good qualifying sessions there last year, and again, on paper, I think it will suit our car a bit more than other circuits.
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“The Red Bull Ring is a great place to test the upgrade package. There is a good mix of low-speed and high-speed corners, which makes our tuning important, especially because there are so few turns to take correctly.
“You’re looking for hundredths around that track, more than tenths, so if we can be in the stadium for the weekend I think we’ll have a good race. I’m excited to be racing there again and we also have a tire test the week after the Grand Prix which will be good for us – again more mileage and more racing on the aero package.