Williams F1 star Alex Albon to race at Singapore Grand Prix three weeks after induced coma

F1 star Alex Albon has spoken for the first time about his harrowing ordeal Credit: PA

Formula One driver Alex Albon is set to race at the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend - just three weeks after he woke from an induced coma.

The Williams driver suffered respiratory failure and was on a ventilator for nearly 24 hours after having an appendectomy earlier this month.

The 26-year-old revealed doctors forced him to turn off the Italian Grand Prix after he woke from the induced coma just 30 minutes before the start of the race.

He was ruled out of the competition in Italy three weeks ago with appendicitis and was transferred to nearby San Gerardo Hospital for treatment.

Albon, who grew up in Bures near Sudbury in Suffolk, will return to his F1 cockpit on Friday.

He said: “I was supposed to be in induced sedation for two to three days, but in the end, my lungs cleared out within 12 hours.

“I woke up pretty much 30 minutes before the start of the race [in Monza]. It was frustrating to watch, and the heart rate went up a little bit. They were keeping an eye on me and they told me they had to switch it off.”

He underwent surgery on the Saturday, but then ended up in intensive care and required assistance with breathing.

He was removed from mechanical ventilation the following day before being given the green light to leave hospital.

“Luckily, I was quite drugged up so I don’t remember much of it,” he added.

“I just remember obviously going into surgery. It’s a relatively simple procedure, it only takes a couple of hours to be operated on. But obviously you don’t understand time when you’re sedated.

“When I did wake up, I thought that was the procedure finished, and they said: ‘No, you’ve actually gone through a little bit more than that’.

“It wasn’t such a big thing for me, it was more [for] my family who came to the race, and obviously they were in shock.”

Albon attended Littlegarth School in Nayland and later Ipswich School, before going on to pursue his dream of becoming a Formula One driver.

Part of his younger years are now documented in the second series of the Drive to Survive programme on Netflix.

The show follows a number of the stars of F1 and digs into the person behind the driver, covering the jailing of his mother Kankamol for fraud in 2012.

The Suffolk star will take part in practice on Friday with a view to competing in Sunday’s 61-lap grand prix – despite the humidity of Singapore creating one of the hardest physical challenges of the season.

Albon continued: “It’s quite a tricky one because you’re basically waiting for your lungs to recover. And at the same time your body can’t move as well as it normally can.

“You can’t just jump back into normal training, you have to slowly build it up. We really started to push it last Monday. I treated training and recovery like a 9-to-5 job.

“Day by day it was getting better. Truthfully, we didn’t think Singapore was on the cards, but with the speed of the recovery, it definitely became possible.

“I feel like I am ready, and I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could race.”

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