Albon gradually adjusting to life in 'F1 circus'

Alexander Albon (THA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14.
© XPB 

Seven races into his Formula 1 career, Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon says he's finally adjusting to life in the 'circus' that is the top level of global motorsport.

The 23-year-old London-born Thai driver was one of the last drivers to be confirmed with a race seat for 2019, having to expected to spend the year in Formula E.

Until Australia, he'd had little experience of what it would be like to race in F1 both in and out of the car. From that standing start, so far he's finished in the top ten in three of the seven races to date.

His best result of the opening races was eighth place in Monaco. Albon said that it has been important for him to open his championship account early in the season to help settle him.

“Early points was always good for me," he said.

"I’m happy with the team as well," he continued. "I feel very comfortable with them. I don’t feel stressed out or anything like that. I get a lot of support from these guys, and the feeling is good."

That feeling of settling in at Toro Rosso has helped Albon cope with being in the eye of the F1 hurricane and deadline, with all the demands the sport brings with it.

“At the beginning, it was a bit daunting in some respects, how much stuff you had to do," he admitted. "Now it’s more like, you get used to it.

“The F1 circus isn’t so crazy once you’ve spent time in it. You just adjust to it and everything becomes normal," he added. "I’m getting there!"

Alexander Albon (THA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14.

Among the ways that Albon is able to cope with the pressure of being an F1 driver is by having a calming spiritual side to his personality.

He told Dutch publication Formule 1 this week that he was a practising Buddhist, which is the major religion of Thailand.

“I go to the temple for every race weekend,” he said. “There is one in Wimbledon that I go to as often as I can.

"The sessions are a symbol of peace and happiness for me," he explained. "We sing songs and use holy water. In that respect it looks a lot like Catholicism.

"I believe in doctrine, meditation and mindset," he added. “I feel that Buddhism is right for me. It gives me peace and helps me in a stressful race weekend.”

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