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Albon "up to speed" with Ferrari GT3 car ahead of DTM debut

Red Bull Formula 1 reserve Alex Albon feels he is “getting up to speed” with the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo ahead of the opening round of the DTM at Monza this weekend.

Alexander Albon, AF Corse, Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo

DTM

Albon will complete his first season in a tin-top championship this year, sharing an AF Corse-run Ferrari GT3 car with Envision Virgin Formula E driver Nick Cassidy in the revamped DTM series.

The Anglo-Thai driver is aiming to stay race fit by contesting a part campaign in the German category, while he continues to work behind-the-scenes with Red Bull as its reserve and simulator driver to land an F1 comeback in 2022.

A newcomer to GT3 racing, Albon set the third fastest time in the pre-season Lausitzring test, ending up less than two tenths behind the pacesetting Mercedes of Maximilian Gotz.

The 25-year-old admits he doesn't have as much experience with GT3 machinery as some of the other drivers in the series, but is pleased with how he adapted to the Ferrari during pre-season testing.

"We've done a fair amount [of testing]," Albon told Motorsport.com. "I don't think it's much compared to our competitors. I think I've had five and a half days in the car so far. 

"Obviously there are a lot of GT drivers and DTM drivers who have been doing it for a while now. So we are a little bit behind in terms of experience but I feel like I've picked up the car pretty quickly and I'm getting up to speed with it. 

"Obviously still the technique is different to Formula 1. If you think about Formula 1 as a driving style, purely how you drive these [GT3] cars it's completely different. 

"The amount of downforce an F1 car has compared to a DTM car, it's a lot more hustling the DTM car around. 

"[But] we've been on pace pretty quickly in testing at least and it looks pretty good so far."

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Despite Ferrari's rivalry with Red Bull in F1, the Italian marque's GT division will lend technical support to the AF Corse-run operation in the DTM.

Albon says he was impressed by the professionalism and technology he witnessed in a GT3 team after spending the last two years in F1, including one-and-half seasons with four-time champions Red Bull Racing.

"[Ferrari] are at every race, every test that we do, and these guys are the people that are involved in the Le Mans [programme and] other GT championships, so it's great to have that shared experience that they bring," he said.

"They go to almost every race weekend with the Ferrari teams. So there's a lot of experience there, a lot of brainpower as well behind the scenes. 

"It is quite impressive actually to see their involvement within, and seeing how much technology in terms of an understanding there is in the GT cars.

"I was quite surprised with the level of professionalism but also the amount of just knowledge they have in these cars it is quite impressive."

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