Albon didn’t expect Singapore F1 return
By Mat Coch
Friday 30th September, 2022 - 8:00pm
Alex Albon didn’t think he’d be ready to return to Formula 1 this weekend following surgery for appendicitis and will monitor his health during Free Practice 1 for the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Williams driver was forced out of the Italian Grand Prix and underwent surgery on the Saturday of the event as Nyck de Vries slotted into his seat in impressive fashion.
While the surgery was a success, there were complications that left Albon in intensive care and, for a time, cast doubt over his participation in Marina Bay this weekend.
“I feel ready. I feel as fit as I can be,” Albon said on Thursday.
“Now we had a good week of training, or two weeks almost, to get back to where we are today.
“We’ll see how it all goes. Obviously, we were realistic, and we know that we’re coming to the most difficult race of the year, so we do have to be mindful of that.
“But I feel good. I’ve been karting and it’s felt okay.”
Albon’s recovery was faster than expected, though he was only able to begin seriously pushing himself once again last Monday.
“It’s quite a tricky one because you’re basically waiting for your lungs to recover,” he said, referencing the fact he was placed on ventilation following the surgery.
“At the same time, your body can’t move as well as it normally can, so you can’t just jump back into normal training, you have to slowly build into it.
“It was kind of Monday last week when we really started to push it and see what we can do, and try to treat it like a nine-to-five job; training and recovery.
“And day by day was getting better and better, and then obviously we got to a point where the recovery was going really well.
“I don’t think we truthfully had in mind [that] Singapore was on the cards, but just with the way that the speed of the recovery, it was definitely a possible thing,” he added.
“We sat long and hard to think about it; hall we do it or not? And I feel like I am ready.
“Of course, we have to wait till FP1 to see where it’s at because driving around here is a different beast.”
Particular focus will be placed on how his body copes with longer runs, given Sunday’s race will likely run close to the two-hour time limit.
“I think obviously the short runs, anyone – it’s quite a comfortable thing to drive these cars, but by FP2 especially you do get a really good idea of how it’s going to feel on your body for the race,” he explained when Speedcafe.com asked about the warning signs.
“I’m not planning not to race, I’m planning to be there.
“Truthfully, I feel pretty confident in my body, but of course, nothing quite compares to the actual toll of driving these cars.
“I think as a driver, you’ll know straightaway what your body can do.”
Formula 1 has not raced in Singapore since 2019, an event that has earned a reputation as the most demanding for the driver all season.
Hot and humid conditions prevail despite most running taking place after the sun has fallen, while the 23-turn circuit is made up of bumpy public roads.
While parts have been resurfaced, the latest generation of cars are still tipped to offer a punishing ride for drivers.
“It is the hardest race of the of the year, that’s for sure,” Albon said.
“I’m not sure how the others feel about it but I feel like these cars are quite different; maybe not quicker, but they’re they are physical in their own ways.
“They are so stiff, it is a different toll on your body.
“So in terms of actually the surgery side, I’m not worried about that at all. I know that’s fully recovered.
“It’s more just the after-effects of being in intensive care, basically, and the toll that has on your body.
“But like I said, I wouldn’t be here if I if I didn’t think I could be able to race.”