Albon ‘better than this time last year’ after appendicitis recovery | RaceFans Round-up


In the round-up: Alexander Albon says he has not only returned to full fitness during the off-season after an appendicitis setback last September, but has now surpassed his physical condition from the start of 2022.

In brief

Albon’s physical recovery now complete

The Williams driver went into 2022 having spent a year out of F1 and racing in the DTM instead, meaning he had to work harder to become race-fit, then during his comeback campaign he had to miss the Italian Grand Prix when he went down with appendicitis and had to have surgery during the race weekend.

At Williams’ 2023 livery presentation Albon said he was now “definitely” back to 100% fitness, and in a better shape than when he returned to F1.

“I spent a lot of time travelling the world [in 2022]. It sounds like I’m like a big old jetsetter,” Albon explained. “I spent a lot of time in Thailand and Los Angeles, just making sure I got back that fitness that I felt like I got to a good point, but not pre-Monza, let’s say.

“Whereas now I feel like I’m sort of actually better than I was even this time last year. So feeling in a good position. Getting ready for these 23 races.”

Ferrari 643 sold at auction

Alesi and Morbidelli raced this Ferrari 643

A Ferrari 643 piloted by Jean Alesi and Gianni Morbidelli during the 1991 Formula 1 has just been sold by auction house RM Sotheby’s for €3.66 million (£3.27 million).

The car, powered by a 3.5-litre V12 engine and using an early example of a semi-automatic gearbox in F1, is chassis number 127 and made its debut in the hands of Alesi at the French Grand Prix, the seventh race of the season. He finished fourth, then retired from the British Grand Prix following a collision.

The chassis appeared on track again at the season-ending Australian Grand Prix and was driven by new Ferrari signing Gianni Morbidelli, who was substituting for Alain Prost. Morbidelli achieved his first points finish, scoring half a point by finishing sixth in what was the shortest race held until that point.

The car was then sold to a South African collector, and following a sale in 2010 it remained in that country but finally returned to action at the Kyalami track. The next owner even entered the car into races, including the Nurburgring’s Oldtimer Grand Prix.

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IndyCar driver to contest NASCAR’s biggest race

Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing, Indianapolis Grand Prix, 2022
Daly will race NASCARs at Daytona and COTA

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly will warm up for the 2023 IndyCar season by entering this month’s Daytona 500, the opening race and blue riband event of the NASCAR Cup season.

Daly will attempt to qualify for the race, which has more entrants than starting spots, and will also race in NASCAR at Circuit of the Americas in March and during the ‘Brickyard’ weekend in August where IndyCar races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday and NASCAR on Sunday.

He will drive for The Money Team Racing, co-owned by boxer Floyd Mayweather Jnr, who he made his Cup Series debut with last year.

Penske continue long-term Verizon partnership

Team Penske has announced a multi-year extension to its sponsorship agreement with telecommunications company Verizon in IndyCar. Reigning champion Will Power’s car will continue to have Verizon as its primary sponsor, as has been the case since 2009.

“Very few drivers are lucky enough to have the support of one partner for as long as I’ve had the opportunity to work with Verizon,” said Power.

“They have been instrumental in my career – a career that would likely have looked much different without them. I still have things I want to accomplish, and I look forward to representing them and bringing the Verizon Chevy back to the winner’s circle.”

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Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Straightline, Sandlefish, Yogesh and Manox!

On this day in motorsport

Elio de Angelis, Lotus, Brands Hatch, 1983
Elio de Angelis was unable to replicate his 1982 race win in the 93T
  • 40 years ago today Lotus launched the 93T, designed by Martin Ogilvie, its first new F1 car after Colin Chapman’s death


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