Get To Know Your Driver: Alex Albon
Alex is one of the hottest young drivers in Formula One, here’s everything you’ll ever need to know about him.
During one of his simulator sessions in the off-season, we grabbed Alex and asked him the hard-hitting questions such as: “What’s your favourite food?” and, “How honest are you?” The answers might surprise you…
Hi Alex, let’s start with a few easy ones, what’s your name, how old are you and what did you have for breakfast?
Alex Albon, 23, and I had Coco Shreddies with some milk and a cup of tea, because I was running late.
How many Instagram followers have you got?
Ooft, 360,000? Around there? This time last year, I had about 4,000 followers.
What is your favourite country?
Thailand. Wave the flag!
What is your favourite meal?
I like Italian food and I like Thai food – they are usually my go-to. So, it’s either Massaman Curry, a red-ish, spicy-ish curry and then you can’t beat an authentic Italian pizza or some pasta.
How often do you get recognised in public?
Zero. Zero. Zero. Which is great!
How honest are you?
Very. I hate lying – and you always get found out. That’s a lesson there for you, kids.
How often do you talk to your family?
Erm, every day. I mean my mum texts me every day, probably too much… she gets quite annoying but yeah, I speak to them all the time. I have quite a big family, I have four siblings. We have group chats where we all chat rubbish and also send pictures of our cats to each other… which happens non-stop.
Do your family come to the races?
Yes, all of my family come. The more they can come to the races, the better it feels, it feels more homely. You can sometimes feel that in Formula One there’s so much spotlight on you, that when your family is there, it makes you more relaxed and comfortable.
I think a lot of people, particularly in sports, consider parents to be a distraction. Of course, they can be, their first interest is their children and they can be quite hands-on. But my family are the opposite, apart from my dad, they really have no idea about Formula One… definitely not my mum! Which is good, because there’s no anger. They just come to watch and support me which makes me feel good.
Who is your favourite driver, dead or alive?
Michael Schumacher is my favourite driver and Valentino Rossi from MotoGP. When I was younger, everything was red! I had a red kart, a red helmet, a red race suit, my bedroom was red, I had red carpet, a red duvet, a red bed… it was absolutely nuts! Even little things, like my mum would tell me ‘You need to eat your vegetables like Michael eats his.’ Even my first word was ‘Rrari’ which I probably shouldn’t even say but it was. Short for Ferrari.
What was your first F1 experience?
I went to my first Formula One race in Silverstone when I was about five years old. We were in a corner grandstand and there was a competition where we had to guess who would finish the race in the top three, so I just put my favourite three drivers in; Schumacher first, [Rubens] Barichello second and [Pablo] Montoya was third.
I think something really weird happened that race as Barichello was always going to qualify last, so no one put him as second and he ended up coming second in the race! So out of all of those people that participated, in their thousands, I was the winner. I walked up on stage and won a massive poster signed by Barrichello and Schumacher and I still have it with me!
What is your favourite circuit?
Suzuka. That was a really good one. Last year was the first time that I went there, it was amazing. It’s a ballsy circuit so if you make a mistake, you feel it. It’s also high speed and quite technical, which, at the same time, is usually quite a good feeling, it makes you feel like you are really driving a Formula One car.
What is your favourite race?
I think it would have been my first ever F1 race. I grew up watching lots of F1 on TV so to be in the moment and realise what was happening, like standing and listening to the national anthem with all the drivers next to me made it all feel very real. I was so nervous to start the race but to have that first race under my belt was such a good feeling. I’ve done it now… I’ve experienced what it’s like. That was really special.
What was your worst race?
None of them have been terrible. I have had a lot of downs, even the last race of the season didn’t go great to be honest. Oh Canada, Canada was a bad race! I’ve had a lot of crashes in practices and qualifying which is never good but I’ve always been able to bounce back.
How many points did you get last season?
No idea, but not enough. I was 8th in the Championship… I think it was 69 points. Why do I want to say 69 so much? Oh it’s 64, well it would have been more if we didn’t crash with Lewis. Thanks Lewis!
Where are you looking forward to returning to this year?
Vietnam, I know we’re not returning, but I’m looking forward to racing there – it’s almost a home race for me.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career in F1 so far?
I had this sensation when we were in Mexico and there was a group of us on track. I think it was Charles [Leclerc] in front, [Sebastian] Vettel right behind him and close to me, Lewis also right behind me and [Valtteri] Bottas and I thought, this is it.
What is your biggest goal in your career?
To be a Formula One World Champion. My first goal was to get into F1 and now I have achieved that it’s shifted a little bit. Becoming World Champion is not an easy goal at all, I realise it’s going to take a lot to get there. That will always be the goal, until the day I die or until I’m out of F1.