Alex Albon of Williams proclaimed himself able to compete in the Singapore Grand Prix after completing his first day of practice after a medical incident.
Following an appendectomy three weeks ago, he had respiratory failure and spent almost 24 hours in critical care on a ventilator.
Albon said, “It was challenging, but if I believe I can do it, I’d want to participate. I am now aware of this.”
Albon outpaced teammate Nicholas Latifi by 1.4 seconds to finish 16th quickest.
Carlos Sainz set the fastest, followed by teammate Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari one-two and Max Verstappen of Red Bull in fourth.
After practice, Albon spoke exclusively to BBC Sport and stated: “I’d be lying if I said it was simple, but fortunately, I was here before in 2019 [with Red Bull], and I don’t feel too far from where I was on Friday of that year.
“It’s been a while, but it’s ok. My views about my strength and overall health are ok, but it’s hot here, and the job is difficult. But, it’s exactly what I imagined it to be.”
Because he was “still healing from the natural ramifications of what I went through,” according to 26-year-old Albon, his body was still weaker than usual.
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Added him: “It is overall exhaustion. Last for example, last week, while I was training, everything seemed more challenging, and recovery was more crucial.
“I was working out two days a week, but recovery was crucial so that I could complete the second half of my workout every day. And this is also true.
“It drains you more than usual during a first-practice session; it seems more like a 10-lap stint than a half-race stint. So for P2, you must rest. For tomorrow, you must rest. Fortunately, the workload is usually lower on Saturdays.
“Just getting acclimated to it made P2 simpler for me than P1. When you exit the automobile, it becomes more significant.
“When you’re driving, your adrenaline is pumping and your attention is not fully on the road. But as soon as you step out of the automobile, I feel like my body serves as a constant reminder of my whereabouts.”
Albon, born in London but competed under a Thai license, claimed he was not obligated to return to Williams and that they could have substituted Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries, as they did in Monza. However, he was still determined to compete in Singapore.
As race car drivers, “We’re in a wonderful situation,” he said. “What we do, we adore. I adore my work. I like driving. If you’re ready to drive, you want to drive, which is why I like visiting street tracks.
“You could always check it out. There is always a backup plan in case of calamity, so that was also kept in mind. So far, everything is going according to plan.”