How have F1 drivers spent their off-season?

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What have F1 drivers been up to in the off-season?

The upcoming 2024 Formula 1 season is set to kick off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on February 29, marking the beginning of Max Verstappen’s title defense. Pre-season testing is scheduled from February 21 to 23, with teams unveiling their 2024 liveries, and Red Bull revealing theirs on February 15, bringing the off-season to a close.

In the two-month break since the 2023 Abu Dhabi season finale, here’s a glimpse into what some of the F1 drivers have been up to during their downtime.

Max Verstappen, the triple world champion, showcased his passion for racing by driving a Ferrari GT3 with his father Jos in Portimao. Additionally, he clinched a GTD class victory at the iRacing Daytona 24 Hours in January, showcasing his prowess as a sim racer.

Sergio Perez, who secured a career-best second place in the 2023 drivers’ championship, focused on sponsor-related activities during the off-season. From becoming an ambassador for Nescafe to featuring in a KitKat advert and attending events for Kavak, Perez kept busy off the track.

How have F1 drivers spent their off-season
How have F1 drivers spent their off-season (Credits: GP Blog)

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, enjoyed outdoor activities in the Colorado mountains, watched an NFL game in California, and engaged in skydiving and surfing. He also shared moments of reunion with his bulldog Roscoe during Christmas.

Fernando Alonso spent time at his karting facility in Oviedo, Spain, testing karts and inspiring the next generation. He also had some fun off the track, skiing in Italy and playing table tennis with George Russell on a private jet.

Charles Leclerc signed a multi-year contract extension with Ferrari after a winless 2023. He took a break to recharge, skiing in Italy, visiting LA’s Venice Beach, and spending time in his hometown of Monte Carlo.

Lando Norris, who signed a multi-year contract extension with McLaren, explored Southeast Asia and Australia during his off-season. He also enjoyed skiing, playing football at Parc des Princes, and engaging in a livestream of Fortnite with popular YouTubers.

Carlos Sainz embraced winter sports skiing in northern Italy and celebrated his father’s historic win at the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

George Russell, while signing a multi-year contract extension with Mercedes, attended a Premier League football match and went skiing in Austria with Toto Wolff and Sebastian Vettel.

Oscar Piastri, after a remarkable debut season in F1, attended events in Paris and underwent a training camp in Lanzarote before returning to the McLaren Technology Centre.

Lance Stroll, known for his love of winter sports, posted a video of snowboarding during the off-season.

Pierre Gasly engaged in various activities in the UAE, including karting with Yuki Tsunoda, posing with footballers, and exploring London.

Esteban Ocon went skiing and spent time in the mountains with Mick Schumacher. He also visited Venice and attended a work event in Madrid with Zinedine Zidane.

Alex Albon visited Thailand, cycled in Los Angeles, and prepared for the season. Yuki Tsunoda spent time in Dubai, attended the Honda Thanks Day, and enjoyed various activities.

Valtteri Bottas spent time cycling in Australia and California, experiencing the northern lights in Finland, and cycling in Adelaide.

Nico Hulkenberg celebrated Christmas at home, hiked in Mallorca, and prepared for the new season.

Daniel Ricciardo explored the outback in Australia, spending time on his family’s ranch and riding dirt bikes.

Zhou Guanyu enjoyed downtime in Shanghai, sharing glimpses of his home life and attending promotion events in China.

Kevin Magnussen spent quiet time with his family in Denmark, with his Haas contract expiring at the end of 2024.

Logan Sargeant, despite a challenging rookie season, trained hard in the gym and had some recreational time driving dune buggies in the UAE desert.

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