The off-season has drawn close, with the first three races already done. Formula 1 teams have unveiled new racing cars and their liveries. Winter tests have been completed in Bahrain, which means the eagerly anticipated start of the season is underway.
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These months they stretched out forever, prompting the question: what have the Formula 1 drivers been up to during this time? Have they developed their skills in scaling mountains? Or perhaps they relished their much-needed respite at home? Let us explore the most noteworthy events in the lives of Formula 1 drivers during their winter break.
Max Verstappen’s winter break started in Japan, where he participated in Honda Racing Day alongside other drivers and his teammate Sergio Perez. In the same place, Honda presented the current Formula 1 champion with a right-hand drive supercar. Verstappen became the owner of the “farewell” particular version of the NSX Type S in the specification for the Japanese market.
Also, during the winter break, EA Sports signed a sponsorship agreement with the Dutch driver. According to the agreement terms, during 2023, the EA Sports logo will always be on the chin of the driver’s helmet. In addition, Verstappen will participate in developing some content as a consultant. He also signed a personal long-term sponsorship agreement with the iconic Dutch brand Heineken.
Sergio Perez, in his turn, immediately plunged into football! The end of the 2022 F1 season coincided with the start of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and Perez was rooting for the Mexican national team from home. And after the end of the World Cup, he congratulated the Argentina national team and all Argentines on their victory, posting a picture with Lionel Messi. Checo also collaborated with Acapella. Co to release his clothing line, for which some of his favourite quotes were selected. By the way, this is already available for sale.
At first, Charles Leclerc had a pretty quiet off-season outside of the usual car testing at Ferrari’s test track in Fiorano. He celebrated Christmas in the family circle by posting pictures in cute jumpers. And then he surprised everyone by breaking into an extreme outdoor activity after the new year! Leclerc has been using his free time to mountaineering, and he’s been pretty high up, it must be said! Do you all remember the photo of him climbing an icy mountain? What a preparation, Charles!
And then, together with Pierre Gasly, they played basketball. After taking Esteban Ocon into the company, they attended the NBA regular season match between the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls (108:126), which took place in Paris.
As for Carlos Sainz Jr., the FIFA World Cup also did not bypass him. He was rooting for the Spanish national team together with Marc Marquez. And then, he went to Saudi Arabia to support his father, Carlos Sainz Sr., who competed in the Dakar Rally. Unfortunately, the crew could not complete their participation. At the beginning of the ninth stage, Sainz Sr. had an accident, overturning his car and receiving severe damage. The Spanish rider was given medical attention and even sent to the hospital by a medical helicopter, but the driver returned to try to return his Audi RS Q e-tron E2 to the race. The technical part of the team attempted to restore the car, but at night it became known that the vehicle had suffered structural damage to the carbon fibre monocoque.
For the first time in Egypt! I have wanted to visit here for a long time, and after my summer trip, I wanted to get to know Africa better.
Driver, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton visited Egypt for the first time during his winter vacation. He arrived at the invitation of the famous French company Christian Dior, holding a show of another men’s clothing collection in Cairo. “For the first time in Egypt! I have wanted to visit here for a long time, and after my summer trip, I wanted to get to know Africa better,” the driver shared on his social media pages. After the end of the racing season, Lewis went … to race! Have you seen that crazy drift video? It’s incredible! Recommended to see. Hamilton also spent part of his winter training on ice in Antarctica. While jogging, he even met penguins and a seal!
George Russell also turned out to be a lover of ice adventures. He and his girlfriend Carmen Mundt spent the day with the Mercedes team driving around snowy Sweden. In general, the racer was all over the place during his break. He travelled a lot, including to warm areas!
Pierre Gasly immersed himself in the FIFA World Cup, the most of all F1 drivers. He attended several matches in Qatar and worried about the French national team until the final. We hope that Christmas brightened up the memories of the final.
And then Gasly and his new teammate, Esteban Ocon, had fun in Sweden. For two days, the racers took part in the Castrol Challenge, which took place on an ice track in northern Sweden, very close to the Arctic Circle. “48 hours in Wonderland!” wrote Gasly. “It was unrealistically fun, but also unrealistically cold!” said Esteban, and we can understand him because the temperature that weekend was about minus 30 degrees! Esteban Ocon visited many exciting places during his vacation: for example, Disneyland in Paris, the NBA with Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc in Paris, and Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, where he posted a pic with Hakimi. And the other day, another one – with Zinedine Zidane, who became an ambassador of the Alpine brand.
48 hours in Wonderland! It was unrealistically fun but also unrealistically cold!
Driver, Alpine F1 Team
Lando Norris did a lot of things during his vacation. One of the exciting hobbies from his social networks during his break is cooking! At a restaurant in Amsterdam, he posted a picture wearing a chef’s uniform and holding a flame torch. And he also trained a lot! He is ready to spend his 5th season with McLaren! Good luck, Lando!
Oscar Piastri returned to his hometown of Melbourne and took the opportunity to go karting. He talked about how excited he was for the new season on social media and couldn’t wait for it to start. Well, Oscar, the wait is over! We hope you’re thrilled to kick off the season. We understand that the debut race was unlucky, but we wish you all the best for the rest of the season!
Valtteri Bottas started his vacation by skiing in Lahti and even playing hockey! But a few days later, Bottas went on an incredibly active trip around Australia during his winter vacation. He actively shared photos on social networks. Bottas cycled around Australia and hiked, drank beer, and fed goats! In general, he had a complete rest!
Guanyu Zhou spent December in China. He visited Alfa Romeo China and posted a photo where he holds his racing helmet in front of the Shanghai skyline, which also includes the art of the same skyline! Zhou also signed a sponsorship contract with Dior, becoming a brand ambassador in China.
Throughout the winter break, Fernando Alonso kept himself busy with various activities. He visited his own go-kart track and hit the slopes for skiing in Italy. From the end of January, he started posting photos on his social media accounts featuring the green colours of his new team, clearly indicating his excitement for the upcoming season.
Lance Stroll amazed his fans by posting a video of him snowboarding in a Santa costume! And then he rested in warm places and had fun! But during the preparation for the season, while training on a bicycle, he was injured and underwent surgery, but he is ready to race. We wish you a speedy recovery, Lance!
Kevin Magnussen did talk about his official merchandise and his new partnerships. For example, he spoke about collaborating with a Danish tech company specializing in digital procurement in Denmark and Scandinavia’s public and private sectors. Furthermore, Kevin teamed up with his father, Jan, for the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi, where they completed the race in seventh place, just two laps behind the leaders. Magnussen was also supposed to race in the Daytona 24 Hours, but he had to pull out because he needed surgery on his hand.
Great news! I’m excited to announce my new partnership with Intellis – a Danish tech company specialized in digital procurement in the public and private sector in Denmark and Scandinavia.
Driver, Haas F1 Team
Nico Hulkenberg shared a little content, but he posted a funny video of how he drives a tractor with his daughter. Still, in general, he trained a lot. He tried on a new uniform, as he got the opportunity to return to the leading Formula 1 peloton after spending three seasons on the sidelines!
Yuki Tsunoda was recently given the honour of becoming the first certified athlete in his hometown. Tsunoda comes from Sagamihara, with a population of just over 720,000 people. Tsunoda received official recognition from the city of Sagamihara as the first Sagamihara City Hometown Athlete during a brief ceremony that was well-attended by his supporters. Congratulations, Yuki!
During the winter break, Tsunoda trained hard in Dubai, pushing himself to the limit. He then travelled to New York to showcase the striking new livery of the Alpha Tauri car and the brand’s upcoming autumn-winter collection during New York Fashion Week with his new teammate, Nyck de Vries.
Nyck has been quiet on social media. Still, he spent his winter break training at the most famous Austrian ski station, Kitzbühel. He posted a photo with Marc Marquez and Fabio Wibmer and announced a new official partner for 2023 – Northwave Intelligent Security Operations.
Alex Albon spent much time in his home country of Thailand over the off-season. He also went to Los Angeles, where he saw the sunset with his girlfriend, played golf and went karting! And the racer changed his hairstyle – he became a blonde! Wow!
During this winter break, Logan Sargeant, the new Formula 1 rookie for 2023, decided to make a trip back home to the United States, where he caught up with the Florida Panthers ice hockey team and even had the chance to hang out with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.