'Fantastic' Albon exceeded Toro Rosso expectations in first F1 test

Alexander Albon is "exceeding expectations" and "ticked all the boxes" in Formula 1's first pre-season test at Barcelona last week, says Toro Rosso's deputy technical director Jody Egginton

'Fantastic' Albon exceeded Toro Rosso expectations in first F1 test

Albon, who finished third in F2 last season, had not driven an F1 car prior to a filming day at Misano in the week before the first test.

He spun on his first out-lap of the Barcelona circuit on Tuesday, but said he was "reassured" knowing Kimi Raikkonen had done the same and went on to finish the day with 132 laps under his belt and the fourth-fastest time.

Albon's fastest effort of the week, a 1m17.637s set on Thursday, was just 0.244 seconds slower than the quickest lap overall set by Renault's Nico Hulkenberg on the same day.

"He'd not driven a F1 car before," said Egginton, when asked by Autosport about Albon's first week.

"He's done reasonable amount of simulator work, which you can imagine. We did a big simulator programme with him, and he spent a lot of time with us.

"At the filming day he did a good job getting in, and here he's been fantastic.

"The off he had on the install was partially engineering induced, it wasn't directly his fault to be fair. And after that we've got into the programme, he's been great.

"His progress in the places where he was quick initially and not quick enough is exactly as you'd expect.

"But he ticked every box, and some of his long runs, especially on the C2 compound, we thought he did a really good job."

Egginton said Albon would be on a "steep learning curve" but insisted he had done better than the team anticipated.

"We're really pleased with him," added Eggington.

"[He has a] fantastic approach, he's exceeding my expectations, and I know the engineers are pleased.

"We're really excited to be working with him. He hadn't done much running - only a little bit in Misano - before his first time in the car here, but he's been really good so far.

"We're really happy and really impressed, and it's one of the nice things about Toro Rosso, working with the young drivers, and sort of moving them forward.

"He's on a steep learning curve, but the young drivers' capacity to learn quickly and move forward is fantastically impressive. So far we're really happy."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Alex Albon
Teams AlphaTauri
Author Adam Cooper
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