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What occurs to F1 automobiles and drivers when a season finishes?

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The 2023 Method 1 season is drawing to an in depth after a dominant marketing campaign for world champions Max Verstappen and Purple Bull, however what occurs now?

Groups and drivers will take a while off over the winter to recharge their batteries earlier than the 2024 season.

How totally different personnel resolve to recharge is as much as them. In earlier years drivers have been seen doing totally different actions whether or not it’s Carlos Sainz spending time on the squash court docket, Sergio Perez cheering on Mexico within the 2022 FIFA World Cup or Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel beforehand competing within the Race of Champions occasion in snowy Sweden.

Nonetheless, it really isn’t lengthy earlier than groups are again working exhausting within the manufacturing unit to organize for the upcoming marketing campaign.

So, what precisely occurs through the low season and does the entire of motorsport take break day over winter? Right here is the whole lot defined.

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What’s F1’s low season and the way lengthy is it?

F1’s low season is the interval between the tip of 1 season and the start of one other. So, taking 2023-24 for instance, it’ll start when the post-season Abu Dhabi take a look at finishes on the 28 November. That is when groups give their automobiles one final shakedown earlier than they get saved away.

It then involves an finish with the beginning of pre-season testing forward of the 2024 F1 season. This takes place in Bahrain between the 21-23 February with the season opener per week later. Nonetheless, groups are again working nicely prematurely so despite the fact that they’ve a number of months away from the observe, a lot work is finished behind the scenes.

Photograph by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Press Convention, Sebastian Vettel, Mick Schumacher

What do F1 drivers do through the low season?

F1 drivers all undertake totally different actions through the low season. As seen in earlier social media updates, some take pleasure in downtime within the winter snow whereas others escape for any type of warmth that they’ll get.

Lewis Hamilton, for instance, goes to his Colorado residence to loosen up within the American mountains. Footage have been posted of him using snowmobiles, paddling within the lakes or snowboarding down slopes.
Different drivers like Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon and, previously, Kimi Raikkonen have additionally loved snowy actions within the depths of winter however not all people is identical. Daniel Ricciardo strikes again to Australia the place, as a result of it’s within the southern hemisphere, it’s summer season through the low season.

Ricciardo’s household has a farm in Western Australia, so movies have beforehand emerged of him driving buggies throughout the huge, dry land. Final 12 months Valtteri Bottas additionally went down underneath as he cycled round Australasia with accomplice Tiffany Cromwell, who’s an expert bicycle owner from Australia.

Although drivers get to take pleasure in downtime, they’re nonetheless working to an extent over the low season. It is because it is very important keep health ranges in order that drivers can begin the brand new 12 months as sharp as attainable.

To take action, drivers usually undertake health programmes and for instance Pierre Gasly visits Dubai for a coaching camp over the winter. One other good method to put together is thru a racing simulator which is one thing a variety of drivers have constructed into their residence.

Lando Norris and Verstappen are each sim racing fanatics and the McLaren driver has beforehand mentioned “a lot of it relates very well back to an F1 car”. The know-how is so superior now that racing simulators are comparatively near the actual factor, which means that utilizing one might help drivers keep some sharpness over the low season earlier than getting again into their precise automobile.

In the meantime, go-karting can be achieved. Fernando Alonso owns a karting observe in Asturias, Spain, the identical area the place he grew up, which is authorized by the FIA to carry worldwide competitions. It’s famend as one of many world’s greatest karting circuits and whereas the observe is open to the general public and Alonso additionally makes use of it for coaching.

Whether or not it’s through the low season, between grands prix or the summer season break, the two-time F1 world champion usually posts footage of him driving it on social media. When doing so, he additionally has the choice of various layouts as the principle circuit could be divided into three secondary programs of 721, 637 and 372 metres in dimension.

Esteban Gutierrez, Mercedes-AMG F1 W12

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Esteban Gutierrez, Mercedes-AMG F1 W12

What occurs to an F1 automobile when the season finishes?

When F1 automobiles return to their respective manufacturing unit, the deconstruction begins which entails eradicating totally different automobile elements to depart simply the chassis body. A few of these elements could assist with future designs whereas others get displayed within the factories.

The engine is included as a kind of elements and if an F1 staff has leased one from a provider – for instance McLaren run a Mercedes engine, whereas Haas has a Ferrari energy unit – then it will get returned, which is identical for different elements which have been borrowed. As soon as F1 automobiles have been diminished to only the chassis, what occurs subsequent can range.

Many get put in museums, for instance Purple Bull has the MK-7 Expertise the place guests are welcomed by a fleet of previous automobiles lined up in a room. Others get put in storage, because the McLaren Expertise Centre has a prime secret storage facility which has over 50 of its retired automobiles.

Some previous machines are additionally used for demo runs, as many have been seen at well-known occasions like Competition of Velocity, Silverstone Competition or CarFest. Williams and Sebastian Vettel ran the 1992 world championship successful FW14B at Goodwood in 2023.

This reveals one other factor that may occur to F1 automobiles, as a result of Vettel purchased the well-known Williams in 2020 and the four-time F1 world champion additionally tried to purchase the dominant Ferrari F2004 however revealed it was “method too costly”. Nonetheless, he is only one of many collectors to have purchased previous F1 automobiles as a result of some are put up for public sale.

Hamilton’s 2013 Mercedes F1 W04 was sold for £15.1 million on the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix whereas one other Silver Arrows automobile, Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 championship successful W196R, went for a file £19.6 million on the 2013 Goodwood Competition of Velocity.

Whereas all the above is occurring, groups are already engaged on their automobile for the upcoming season. The early work, i.e. design, usually begins greater than a 12 months prior however then at a sure level throughout a season groups will prioritise its subsequent automobile.

Such work continues into the brand new 12 months forward of the automobile’s launch, which usually occurs throughout January and February. Subsequently, these within the manufacturing unit have very temporary break day over winter as a result of they should be again engaged on the brand new season as quickly as attainable.

Jenson Button, Brawn BGP001

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Jenson Button, Brawn BGP001

Do F1 drivers get to maintain their automobile?

Though an F1 chassis could be purchased, it is usually attainable for drivers to be gifted one in every of their {old} automobiles. On the location of Alonso’s karting observe is his museum, which is residence to the Spaniard’s two title successful Renaults from 2005 and 2006.

Alonso’s former team-mate Raikkonen is one other to personal a previous automobile, as Ferrari despatched the 2007 world champion the SF71H which he drove on the 2018 United States GP for the ultimate race win of his profession.

In the meantime Nelson Piquet remarkably has the 1987 Williams FW11, which gained him his third and ultimate championship, on the wall of his residence. Charles Leclerc is one other driver to have stored one in every of his previous automobiles, whereas Jenson Button confronted extra of a battle to maintain his 2009 title successful Brawn.

As Mercedes purchased Brawn GP on the finish of 2009, the Silver Arrows took possession of the a number of chassis’ that had been made for that season. Nonetheless, Button solely used one – BGP 001-01 – and it was in his contract that if he had been to win the championship then he takes over possession of the chassis.

Mercedes initially refused to offer it to him however then Button was formally awarded possession of the BGP 001-01 after the authorized battle, whereas the Silver Arrows stored the opposite ones made by Brawn.

What different racing occurs throughout F1’s low season?

Though F1 is absent over winter, that doesn’t imply different racing classes are. The Center East is normally a hotbed for motorsport throughout that point and Kevin Magnussen raced within the 2022 Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit together with his father Jan, ex-McLaren and Stewart driver, after the F1 season completed.

The Center East additionally hosts the world-famous Dakar, which is an annual, two-week rally raid throughout Saudi Arabia in January. This begins only a week earlier than the brand new Method E marketing campaign, so single-seater racing nonetheless occurs throughout F1’s low season.

Different motorsport classes are occurring over winter like Excessive E, NASCAR and the World Rally Championship, so there may be a lot to whet the urge for food earlier than F1 begins once more.

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photograph by: Purple Bull Content material Pool

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Crew Hyundai i20 N Rally1

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