Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon will head into the second week of testing full of confidence following an impressive stint in the new STR14 at Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday.
Albon was second fastest on the final day of the first test in Barcelona, capping off a successful week for the team in which fellow Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat set the pace on Wednesday.
Albon reported, “We had a good day today [Thursday] topping the timesheets in the morning session. I know it’s still early days, and we don’t know what everyone else is doing, but it’s a good sign for the future.”
The Thai clocked a whopping 136 laps in his Honda-powered car on Thursday, two laps less than distance leader Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari.
“I think everything is going to plan quite well,” Albon said. “We’ve hit our mileage target which is important for the guys back at the factory, and of course at the same time, I’m still learning the car.”
Albon steps up to Formula 1 in 2019 after two promising seasons in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the 22-year-old explaining his most significant “learning curve” is conquering the new F1 machinery.
He added, “The grip is so high that it took a while for my head to adjust to it. It’s been a big learning curve. The first day began with a tricky start [spinning on my out-lap], but the team made me feel comfortable after that and we were able to get on with the programme.”
Albon is already looking forward to his competitive debut at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 in Melbourne on March 14-17, “I’m still not fully in the rhythm yet, but I think after next week I’ll be there and ready to race.”