Alexander Albon braced for 'steep learning curve' with Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon says he is braced for a “steep learning curve” in Formula 1 as he prepares to begin his career in the championship.

Albon is one of four full-time rookies on the grid in 2019, and steps up to Formula 1 after finishing third in last year’s Formula 2 championship.

But whereas rivals Antonio Giovinazzi, Lando Norris and George Russell all have substantial experience in Formula 1 machinery, Albon has never tested a contemporary car.

His promotion to a race seat was announced only last November and he did not participate in the post-race test that followed his confirmation.

“Obviously, I think it’s going to be a steep learning curve,” said Albon, as Toro Rosso unveiled its STR14.

“I’ll get four days of testing in Barcelona before Melbourne so we don’t have a lot of driving.

“The main focus is to be comfortable in the car and get up to speed as quickly as possible. We’ll see.

“In terms of my personal preparation, I’ll try not to put too much pressure on myself and give it everything I have from day one.

“It’s my opportunity this year to show everyone what I’ve got.”

Albon’s promotion to a Formula 1 seat capped an unexpected rise to the championship, six years after he was initially dropped by Red Bull, and came at the end of a season in which he began his Formula 2 programme on a round-by-round deal.

“In general, the way I’ve gone about my career and my racing, is I never set any goals on anything,” he said.

“Every year, it was just each race, take it step by step, focus and race in that session -whatever it would be, practice, qualifying, the race. Just take it as it is.

“If you start setting long-term goals, you just put unnecessary pressure on yourself. I’m just focused on myself and let’s see how it all goes.”