Singapore Grand Prix: Stern test awaits for Alex Albon

Albon took part in Friday practice in Italy before pulling out of the weekend to undergo appendicitis surgery on the day of qualifying in Monza during which he had a respiratory failure.

Williams’ Thai driver Alexander Albon during a press conference ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit on Thursday in Singapore.

Williams’ Thai driver Alexander Albon during a press conference ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit on Thursday in Singapore. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Albon took part in Friday practice in Italy before pulling out of the weekend to undergo appendicitis surgery on the day of qualifying in Monza during which he had a respiratory failure.

Williams driver Alexander Albon said he is well prepared to race at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix just three weeks after having a respiratory failure following a routine appendicitis surgery.

Albon took part in Friday practice in Italy before pulling out of the weekend to undergo surgery on the day of qualifying in Monza.

It was later revealed he had respiratory failure, a ‘known but uncommon complication’ as the team put it, and had to be moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for 12 hours before he was taken off the ventilator.

The race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit is one of the most demanding tracks physically for the drivers on the F1 calendar with high heat and humidity.

“I feel ready. I feel as fit as I can be and we had a good week of training, or two weeks almost, to get back to where we are today. So, we will see how it goes. We are realistic, coming to the most difficult race of the year. So we do have to be mindful of that. But I feel good. I have been karting and it has felt okay,” said Albon at the official FIA press conference on Thursday,

Explaining his training and recovery regime, he said, “I would say it was more kind of bed recovery, to begin with. It's quite a tricky one because you're waiting for your lungs to recover. And 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 starting Monday last week when we started to push it and see what we can do. I treated it like a nine-to-five job, training and recovery. Of course, recovery is really important. So yeah, basically throwing everything at it. And day by day I was getting better and better. And then obviously, we got to a point where the recovery was going well. I don't think we truthfully had Singapore on the cards, but just with the speed of the recovery, it was a possible thing,” added the driver from Thailand.

Despite being cleared by the FIA, Albon will face a stern test during Friday’s practice sessions and said he will monitor his progress over the two one-hour sessions.

“I'd say mainly, we are looking at long runs. It is quite a comfortable thing to be able 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. So like I said, I'm not planning to not race. I'm planning to be there and truthfully I feel pretty confident in my body but nothing quite compares to the actual toll of driving these cars. So yeah, that's it, you know. I think as a driver, you'll know straightaway what your body can do,” added the 26-year-old.

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