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Alex Albon feels 'very fortunate' to be racing at Singapore GP after health scare

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McLaren have unveiled a striking new visual design for the Formula One races in Singapore and Japan. (0:38)

Formula One driver Alex Albon feels fortunate to even be able to consider racing at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix after the health complications which followed his surgery for appendicitis two weeks ago.

Albon, who was replaced at the Italian Grand Prix by stand-in Nyck de Vries, suffered a respiratory failure and was sent to intensive care after what would otherwise have been a routine operation.

He was released from hospital several days later and started to train for Singapore, the most physically demanding on the F1 calendar. His training included some karting to see how his body was recovering from his stint at hospital.

Albon, who has already confirmed his intention to race, said he was lucky to only miss one event.

"In terms of setbacks, it's a small one, really," Albon said on Thursday. "I've missed out on a race, I've been very lucky. I've had very good doctors around me in Italy to get me back to a good place.

"I feel very fortunate. I only missed one race so it's not a big deal."

Albon said the nature of the setbacks he suffered in hospital meant he was not fully aware at the time what had happened.

"Luckily I was quite drugged up, so I don't remember much of it. I just remember going into surgery.

"It's a relatively simple procedure. I think it only takes a couple of hours to be operated on. But you don't understand time when you're sedated. Obviously it was more the impact of the people around me, so when I did wake up I thought everything was done, that was the procedure finished.

"They said, 'You've actually been through a little more than that.' In the end I was supposed to be in an induced sedation for two, three days, but in the end my lungs cleared out within 12 hours, so I was already up pretty much shortly after.

"It wasn't such a big thing for me but it was for my family who came to the race, they were a little bit in shock. That was about it."

Asked what he's most anxious about in his return, Albon said: "I'd say it's more Singapore. It's the humidity. It is the hardest race of the year, for sure. I think these cars are quite different [to last year], maybe not quicker, but they are physical in their own ways. They are so stiff it is a different toll on your body.

"On the surgery side I'm not worried about that at all, I know I'm fully recovered. It's more just the aftereffects of being in intensive care basically and the toll that has on your body. But I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I'd be able to race."

Albon said he will have a clear idea by the end of Friday's two practice sessions if his body is up to the task of racing on Sunday.