READ: Alex's words at the Tokyo Fan Zone
See what Albono had to say when he answered fan questions at the Williams Racing Tokyo Fan Zone
Published
03 Apr 2024
Est Reading Time
4 min
Ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Alex stopped by the Williams Racing Tokyo Fan Zone in Shibuya to meet fans and speak ahead of the trip to Suzuka. Here’s what Albono had to say:
If you weren’t an F1 driver…
“We've been asked this question a couple of times and every time I don't really know what I would be. I think that's because I put all my eggs into being a racing driver, and if I wasn't to be a racing driver, I’d be screwed.
"Designing maybe? I'm not an artistic guy and I wouldn't be able to draw anything impressive, but I do enjoy designing and being creative. So something around that area."
What’s next for your brand, AA23?
"The goal with the merch was to try to be more like a clothing brand in some ways. Really focus on the quality and keep it fairly minimalistic, so you can wear it everywhere and not feel like you know, you're an Alex Albon fan. And that's who I am as well, I’m maybe a bit more low key and I don’t want to make such a big noise for myself.
"So, the plan is to grow. We're going have some exciting stuff coming for sure. Stay tuned for it. We've really put a lot of effort into the brand this year and it will hopefully just get bigger and bigger. But for now, hang tight, there is some good stuff…"
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Adjusting to different time zones
"It's not that easy. We have a sleep doctor who kind of tells us. Caffeine intake and exposure to light is very important and food intake is very important. So, balancing that kind of thing. You know, some drivers use melatonin - I don't, but I use natural products to try to help me get to sleep.
"We've got Australia and Japan and then into China, but because there's a one week break, it actually makes it quite awkward. We're flying back to the UK doing simulator work and then flying backwards again. It does mess up your time zone and your sleep quite badly. It is tricky."
What is the most valuable training tool to prepare for races?
“I would say the simulator is a valuable tool if you're learning a circuit. If you're learning the little things, you know, the little tricks and things like that, it's always better to really learn them and to be on the track for real.
"What I find really good with the simulator is the setup work, and that's very important with the correlation and how the car feels. So we spend a lot of time at Williams making sure the car's as close to reality as possible, so that when we go to the next race and we're exploring setup options for the weekend, we can have a starting setup, which we think is the best.
"On top of that, if we change certain things, we know what it's going to do to the car. So, a lot of hours are spent there. But that's it really, you know, it's a unique sport. We don't really get much preparation for what we do.”
Favourite places in Japan
“I've been to Tokyo a lot and I've been to Kyoto. I did a two week trip where I stopped off along the way from Tokyo down to Kyoto. So I just took the bullet train and just kept finding these little onsen hotels and natural spring places, which was really pretty.
"I want to go to Hokkaido, hopefully in December. I don't know if it snows yet at that point, but we'll have to wait and see. Obviously what I love about Japanese culture as well is that they all have dishes and specialties in their areas and they spend so much time and effort to be the best at whatever they do. So I love kind of trying that out basically. I'm a foodie, so it's a good place, Japan.”
The least amount of sleep before a race
"Do you know the nights where you're just in bed and you feel like you're awake? Your eyes are closed, but you're pretty sure you're in the lightest sleep ever because you can wake up when you want to.
I have those days all the time. So, yeah, it is quite normal, I guess - I’ve had zero hours."
Watching memes of yourself
"It's inevitable that you're not going to avoid it. I mean, the culture in Formula 1 now is meme central. You scroll on Instagram - I try not to follow anything “racing”, but of course my friends are racing drivers and there's obviously people involved in the motorsport world.
"So inevitably on your explore page, or Twitter, or X now, memes will come up and you're just like, “amazing”. But it is the world. We definitely send each other memes too.
"If we find a good one of another driver, be sure that we are sending it to them. Which, to be fair most of the time, I'm sure there are five or six people sending them it. Especially when it's a top tier meme, we know about it yeah, for sure."
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