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'I'd throw a tantrum if he didn't win!' – Albon explains how Michael Schumacher inspired his F1 journey

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Alex Albon has explained how Michael Schumacher helped to inspire his F1 journey, with the Williams racer admitting he would throw tantrums as a child if the seven-time world champion didn’t win a race.

Albon has earned plenty of plaudits himself for his outstanding 2023 season, regularly maximising what was capable in his car as he continues to grow as a Formula 1 racer. The campaign marked the 27-year-old’s fourth full season in the sport, having previously been part of the Red Bull set-up before landing at Williams for 2022. But his original love of the sport was centred around Ferrari – and Schumacher in particular.

READ MORE: ‘It’s eye-watering’ – Albon shares the secrets of Verstappen’s unique driving style

Speaking to the High Performance Podcast, Albon admitted that he was a true racing fanatic growing up – something that helped sow the seeds of wanting to become a racing driver – and a variation of Ferrari was among his first words.

“I was an obsessed kid when I was growing up,” Albon explained as he delved into his childhood. “One of my first words was ‘Ferrari’, which I would call ‘Rari’.

“It was Ferrari and then exhausts – I loved seeing four tailpipes – which were ‘smokes’. So I always used to shout out ‘smokes’ or ‘Rari’.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - AUGUST 17:  GP VON UNGARN 2001, Budapest; Michael SCHUMACHER/GER - FERRARI -

Alex Albon idolised Michael Schumacher growing up, something that helped inspire his dreams of becoming an F1 driver

“In terms of a car feeling, I was a massive Michael Schumacher fan. I used to throw the biggest tantrums as a kid if Michael didn’t win.

“My mum used to have a VHS of a 2001 Formula 1 highlights review, and I knew all the races that he won that year, so as soon as I had an off – or a bad day or whatever – that was straight in, playing Michael wins.

“It was early on. I always wanted to be a racing driver and my dad used to race. I’d call him semi-professional, I think he’d like that! But he was good, he was genuinely good at his job.”

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While Schumacher – a world champion in 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 – was undoubtedly Albon’s F1 idol, the Thai racer did continue to single out his dad Nigel – a former British Touring Car racer – as an additional inspiration.

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“Not so much,” Albon said, when asked if he would get to watch his dad race as a child. “I kind of got into racing as he stopped, so there was a cross over there.

“But he was the one – he was my engineer, my mechanic, my driver coach – that was very much a father/son thing.”

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