Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso, Yas Marina

Albon: Formula E test will help with F1 transition

2019 F1 season

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New Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon says his Formula E testing experience has helped smooth the transition from Formula 2 to Formula 1.

Albon signed to drive for Nissan’s Formula E team in the current season but pulled out of the deal when the opportunity arose to join Toro Rosso in F1. He said he was surprised by the closeness between F1 and FE technology.

“I was fortunate to do some Formula E testing, so when I did that I learned a lot about the powertrain and it’s quite surprising how similar the two are,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say the technology is the same, but the way you have to save energy and things like that, they’re very similar. It was useful to have done that testing, I think it won’t be too difficult to adapt to that.”

The sheer performance gap between F1 and F2 is the most striking difference between the cars, said Albon.

“Obviously, these cars are quicker than ever now, even if speeds might drop a little this year. But in terms of the jump from Formula 2 to Formula 1, it’s really, really big.


Toro Rosso STR14, 2019
First pictures: Toro Rosso STR14 is ready for 2019
“That’s mainly from the downforce. I think the speed won’t be too difficult to deal with, it’s more just the pure width of the car I’ll have to get used to.”

The other major change for Albon to get used to will be working with a much larger team.

“Something which I think people don’t realise is just the sheer amount of people and the work ethic involved in F1,” he said.

“It’s different in the sense that you have so many people working for you and they’re all striving to be as quick as possible, so for a driver there’s a lot of interaction with the team. There’s always someone that I need to speak with in order to get the maximum out of the car.

“In Formula 2, I had two engineers, there was a head engineer and I had two mechanics in total. So that’s six or seven people and now I’m going to a team that’s got almost 400 people. It’s a different ball game but I’m getting used to it – It’s a nice problem to have.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Albon: Formula E test will help with F1 transition”

  1. Interesting. Even if the skill to save energy is similar I’m sure the approach is completely different. After all, is energy saving that much important in F1? More than getting used to the speed for instance? When Hartley joined the team in 2017 everyone said his main strength was energy saving. And he really didn’t show

    1. *Didn’t show much.

  2. Right Ok

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