With one of the most eventful careers in recent F1 history, Alex Albon is at the end of an exciting 2023 season. The Thai-British driver, who has been a part of Williams Racing for two years now, currently stands in 13th position with 27 points—a remarkable improvement from 2022.
In Abu Dhabi, Vogue Man Arabia got exclusive access to the Williams Racing hospitality experience courtesy of the Dubai-headquartered Jumeirah Group, which launched its partnership with the team earlier this year.
Below, Alex Albon discusses his incredible experience this season, life as an F1 driver, and how he unwinds after a weekend full of action.
Given that you are fighting for significant points this season, and there have been major improvements with the car, how does that make you feel as a driver? What do you think has made this year’s car so competitive compared to last year?
I think the main difference from last year [is that] as a team, we’ve gotten stronger. I’ve had another year in the team, more experience, understanding the people as well as the car and, I feel like we haven’t made mistakes, we’ve executed very well.
How do you mentally cope with the pressure to meet expectations after having performed well?
The pressure side of Formula One honestly doesn’t change too much. We’ve had pressure since we were eight years old, so it’s just part of the game.
There are four F1 races taking place in the Middle East now, as well as many other motorsports. What do you think of the growing interest in the sport within the region?
I really love coming to the Middle East. I think the weather, the hotels, and the general environment that we’re in is great. We always seem to be very well taken care of when we’re here. I think the growing interest [in the sport] in the Middle East is not talked about that much, but we see it year on year that it’s picking up, which is great, and clearly, it’s becoming a hot spot for Formula One.
What is your dream track to race on?
I’d love to have a home race in Thailand, maybe in the future, I hope.
What would you say is the best perk of your job? And the biggest challenge that most fans may not know about?
I think the best thing about my job [is that] I get to work with some of the smartest people in the world. It’s amazing, the environment that you get when you have people all achieving one goal to win a race. The pursuit of excellence is contagious to be a part of. The one thing which maybe is not so glamorous—I mean, there’s not much that’s bad, but it’s relentless, it’s hard work. We sacrifice a lot to do what we do. I wouldn’t sacrifice any less for what I do. But it is tough.
You’ve been racing in Abu Dhabi for a few years now. What do you love the most about your stays here?
I love the hotels in Abu Dhabi. We get to stay at Jumeirah, our partner—amazing hotels. They always take very good care of us and put us in beautiful rooms. We’ve had a 22-race calendar, this is the final race of the season. It’s nice to be able to come here, relax, spend some time on the beach, and recover for the final one.
What are your post-race essentials?
Genuinely, after a race, I tend to have a nice meal with my family, go somewhere, or go to a nice restaurant. Then I make sure I sleep as much as I can. I love my sleep, so getting to not set an alarm is a great feeling as you all know, and I take it slow the next day.