[Translated with Google Translate]
After a “sabbatical” year in the DTM with a Ferrari managed by AF Corse and sponsor AlphaTauri, Alex Albon is ready to return to Formula 1 in 2022 at the wheel of one of Williams' two single-seaters. There are still four months to go before the first Grand Prix next March, but the Thai driver wastes no time and faces his preparation... with karts and more precisely with Energy Corse at South Garda Karting in Lonato.
Tuesday 23 November 2021: all the major car championships have already disputed their last race of the year - with a few exceptions that can be counted on the fingers of one hand, such as F1 - just as the international karting competitive season has ended. Winter is almost upon us and it is the perfect time to do an analysis on your year, to rest and recharge your batteries in view of new challenges.
Alex knows it well, who closed his debut in the DTM last 10 October with an overall tally of a win, a pole position and 6th place in the general standings. Before him, however, there is a new opportunity: after two years with Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) and Red Bull, the Milton Keynes team tester will make his return to the F1 World Championship with Williams.
Therefore, there is no time to waste. And it is no surprise that Alex chooses karts as his main gym, having also grown up at the Energy Corse court with which he returned to the track for the last time in early 2020. Already at nine in the morning, in a still silent South Garda Karting, Alex shows up on the track, in the company of his manager. There he finds his own Energy Corse powered by TM Racing, with his own name and logo, and a still wet asphalt, which forces him to mount rain tires. The first two rounds proceed rather quietly: in the first, Alex proceeds to run in the engine - new, especially for him - while in the second he continues to take measurements, despite some dry points and the attempt by the Energy Corse staff to dry handcrafted with a blower.
Time to get serious. Alex decides to fit new Vega-branded tires, but the third round lasts just one lap because… he forgot the rib protector! Never mind, the break lasts a few minutes and, putting on the rib protector, Alex returns to the track and starts pressing the accelerator hard. Coincidentally, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri official driver in Formula 1, is also present in Lonato and takes to the track with Intrepid, but the two are not looking for a close comparison, but rather to lap as much as possible and concentrate on their time.
The morning ends with two more driving sessions, this time with a set of used tires, saving a second set of new Vegas for the afternoon. Little spectacularity, of course, but a lot of work for Alex, always ready to exchange information and opinions with his own engineer as soon as he got off his kart. Even the afternoon offers the same script: Alex continues to lower his time and to shoot with constancy and professionalism, until he decides to stop, satisfied with the work done.
© Photo credit: Michele Panzera