Alexander Albon, who will drive for Toro Rosso in 2019, says his Formula E experience helped him make the switch from Formula 2 to Formula 1.
Albon was signed to drive for Nissan’s FE team in the current 2018/19 season of the all-electric series, but pulled out when the chance to drive for Toro Rosso in F1 arose.
The 22-year-old has revealed that there are some notable similarities between FE and F1.
“I was fortunate to do some Formula E testing, so when I did that I learned a lot about the powertrain and it’s quite surprising how similar the two are,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say the technology is the same, but the way you have to save energy and things like that, they’re very similar. It was useful to have done that testing, I think it won’t be too difficult to adapt to that.”
The sheer performance gap between F1 and F2 is the most striking difference between the cars, added the London-born Albon.
“Obviously, these cars are quicker than ever now, even if speeds might drop a little this year. But in terms of the jump from Formula 2 to Formula 1, it’s really, really big,” he explained.
“That’s mainly from the downforce. I think the speed won’t be too difficult to deal with, it’s more just the pure width of the car I’ll have to get used to.”
The other major change for Albon to get used to will be working with a much larger team.
“Something which I think people don’t realise is just the sheer amount of people and the work ethic involved in F1,” he said.
“It’s different in the sense that you have so many people working for you and they’re all striving to be as quick as possible, so for a driver there’s a lot of interaction with the team. There’s always someone that I need to speak with in order to get the maximum out of the car.
“In Formula 2, I had two engineers, there was a head engineer and I had two mechanics in total. So that’s six or seven people and now I’m going to a team that’s got almost 400 people. It’s a different ball game but I’m getting used to it – It’s a nice problem to have.”