Albon needed four-day recovery after Qatar GP
By Ian Parkes
Friday 20th October, 2023 - 10:32pm
Alex Albon has revealed the surprising extent of his recovery following the energy-sapping Qatar Grand Prix.
Excessive heat and humidity hit Williams duo Albon and team-mate Logan Sargeant hard, with the latter forced to retire after 41 laps as he was unable to continue in the oppressive conditions, whilst both required medical centre attention for dehydration.
Other drivers were left totally exhausted and drained, leading to the FIA conducting a review into the matter in a bid to avoid a repeat in the future.
Confirming his recovery was “definitely longer than normal”, Albon added: “The toughest races, like Singapore, Suzuka maybe, the Monday after you’re a bit sore, a bit low on energy, but then by Tuesday you’re back in the gym, getting ready for the next one.
“This was like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday starting to get better, and then Friday was kind of back to normal in the gym, so a longer recovery rate, for sure.
“It was a tough one. Definitely the toughest race I’ve ever done.”
Asked by Speedcafe what he experienced in the few days after the race, Albon replied: “It wasn’t that I couldn’t do anything, but just the energy levels…
“I mean, you wouldn’t want to have seen the colour of my urine for multiple days afterward. It really did take a long time to get the fluids back. It was not fun.
“It was almost like a burnout. You’re just tired, you’re lacking energy. I’ve definitely eaten a lot, almost overeaten since Qatar just to get back some calories, a bit of extra fat.”
Remarkably, there was criticism after the race in some quarters that suggested the drivers needed to toughen up and train harder to avoid the level of fatigue that was experienced by the majority.
From a personal perspective, Albon feels he was best equipped to cope with the conditions given his background of being born and raised in Thailand where it is hot and humid.
Countering the comments, Albon said: “It’s not fitness related at that point. It’s pure heat exhaustion.
“Everyone was passing out on the floor, trying to strip off their clothes after the race, so it’s not really a fitness point.
“Of course, I’d even say I would be one of the best people at it because of my ethnicity and being used to the humidity, but it was painful, and we are driving around quickly. The speeds we’re doing around Qatar are huge.
‘It’s one of those things. We can’t communicate it because we’re the only people that drive it, so when we say it’s bad, obviously, I hope people take our word for it and know we’re not being divas.”