Alexander Albon marked his FIA Formula 1 World Championship debut for Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda on the second day of Formula 1 2019 Pre-Season Testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The Thai-British driver had a couple of spins in the morning, with the second spin seeing him skating into the gravel trap on the exit of Turn 4.
The newcomer returned on track in the afternoon and complete a total of 132 laps, the second most of anyone on the day. Albon would set the fourth fastest time of 1:19.301, a second adrift of Charles Leclerc who was quickest.
“Today was up there with one of my all-time great experiences! It’s been a really good day,” said Albon.
“At the start I was thinking to myself ‘don’t spin it this morning’, and that’s exactly what I did! It was really tricky out there because the track was so cold that you couldn’t drive slowly – as soon as you drive too slow your tyres get cold, it becomes unpredictable and it’s like driving on ice.
“Once I got into my rhythm it was a smooth day and we had no issues, apart from a couple of spins later on, but I was just exploring the limits to see what the car was capable of.”
Albon had already drove the STR14 in a filming day in Fiorano the week before and knows the car has potential.
“I did a few laps on Wednesday for our Filming Day, so today wasn’t a totally new experience to drive an F1 car, and I’ve also been in the simulator many times, so I had a general idea of what the car could do,” Albon mentioned.
“However, the high speed of the car is definitely new to me and it was a bit of a positive shock – I’m enjoying it a lot! I’m still smiling from when I got out of the car and I’ll continue smiling throughout tonight until tomorrow!”
The 22-year old will return to the track on Thursday on the final day of the first pre-season test.