Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon says he is targeting getting up to speed in Formula 1 straight away. The Thai-British driver will make his debut at the Australian Grand Prix, which kicks off in just under two months.
Albon was called up to replace Brendon Hartley after an impressive Formula 2 campaign that saw him finish third in the drivers' championship. He hopes he can quickly find his fight in the sport, but knows it will be his biggest challenge.
"I think mainly it's to get up to speed immediately," he said to Formule 1 when asked what his greatest task would be. "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."
Albon will partner Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull's junior squad, who makes his return after spending a year with Ferrari as a development driver. As he prepares to go head-to-head with his teammate and the rest of the field, Albon described how he has been preparing physically.
"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."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing