Rookie Albon's main challenge is 'getting up to speed immediately'

Alexander Albon (THA) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
© XPB 

Toro Rosso new recruit Alexander Albon aims to be on the pace at the outset in 2019, despite his complete lack of F1 experience.

The 22-year-old British-Thai racer, who finished third in last year's FIA Formula 2 Championship, was chosen to replace Brendon Hartley at Toro Rosso, a late call-up that came after Albon had committed to a season of Formula E with Nissan.

Red Bull negotiated the driver's release however, but Albon, despite his credentials, is seen as an unknown quantity, having never driven an F1 car before.

Yet, the young hopeful - who will be racing under a Thai licence in F1 - is determined to measure up against his more experienced team mate, F1 returnee Daniil Kvyat.

"I think mainly it's to get up to speed immediately," replied Albon when asked by Dutch publication Formule 1 to comment on his biggest challenge for 2019.

"I have four days of testing in Barcelona and I've never driven a Formula 1 car before.

"There won't be a lot of time before Melbourne and these cars are of course very different to Formula 2 and a lot faster.

"So it's mainly a question of getting faster, getting to know the car and how to drive it."

As he prepares to step into the shoes of a bona fide Grand Prix driver, Albon is focused on building up his body for the physical demands that lie ahead.

"I've just had a few neck, cardio and blood tests and some scans," he revealed. "Of course I am trying to prepare my neck as much as possible.

"It's going to be demanding, so that's where the focus is right now. I have my trainer with me and I'll try to be in top shape for Melbourne."

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