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Albon opens up about 'really special' F1 drivers' night out

All 20 F1 drivers got together to hold a farewell dinner for the retiring Sebastian Vettel over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, an occasion that Alex Albon admits involved a lot of "good stories".

Alex Albon has opened up about the F1 drivers' "really special" night out in honour of the retiring Sebastian Vettel at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. All 20 drivers got together for the meal over the weekend of the season finale, with several posting photos of the occasion on social media later on. Albon admits that the event was a memorable one. "The dinner, truthfully speaking, it was really special," he told the F1 Nation podcast after the race in Abu Dhabi. "It was a lot of fun. I think every driver, myself, my cheeks were aching, just smiling and laughing the whole time. So it was really good." When asked for more specific details, though, Albon was reluctant to share too much. "I feel like I'll get in trouble [if I] say," the Williams driver added. "I think that was a strict policy of the dinner itself. We can't say what happened. There were some very good stories being told."

Albon quashes rumours about dinner

Amid rumours of the bill for the meal being a six-figure number, Albon insisted that that was not the case. "We're normal people," he added. "We're not here expecting caviar on our plate and gold spoons: 'If it's not gold, I'm not eating it'. "We had a set menu. There's a lot of people with dietary requirements, like, obviously, Lewis [Hamilton] is vegan and all that kind of thing. "Lewis covered the bill – very nice of him. He organised it as well – very nice of him. So he knows what the bill was."

How experienced F1 drivers have 'welcomed' new faces

Albon feels that F1 driver relationships have changed in recent times, with many maintaining friendships rather than simply being rivals. "There was a bit more of like an enemies, rivals [feel in the past]," Albon commented. "It's different [now], where we're still kind of friends. Obviously, you see the racing on the track, we're not friends on the circuit. "But at least off the track, we spend so much time with each other. We're doing 23/24 races now. I see, unfortunately, my teammate, Nicky [Nicholas Latifi], or George [Russell] or whoever, more than I do Lily [Albon's girlfriend]. "That's just the way it is, and you kind of build a friendship. I've raced against a lot of the drivers since I was eight, nine years old, so I've spent a long time with them. "And yet there's also this thing where I think the drivers who have been in the sport for a while – Lewis, Seb, Valtteri [Bottas], Daniel [Ricciardo] – they're all super nice guys. "They make us feel very welcome and it makes everyone feel like a family, and it is really nice."

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