Motor racing-Lengthy April break offers F1 time to take inventory


By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) – Components One groups will welcome greater than their drivers the respiratory area supplied by a protracted April break in a document 23-race season.

Followers should wait till the final weekend within the month for the following race in Azerbaijan after Sunday’s triple-stopped Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, the hole attributable to the cancellation of China’s spherical.

The Shanghai race, initially scheduled for April 16, has been axed for the fourth 12 months in a row as a result of strict native measures to curb the unfold of COVID-19.

“I do not need to have that break, as a result of which race was lacking from that break,” mentioned Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou, the game’s solely Chinese language driver.

Racers at all times need to race, keen to construct momentum or overcome setbacks and climb again into rivalry, however groups will be thankful for the possibility to relaxation their pit crews and engineers.

“It is a bit bizarre to have three weeks off, particularly that early within the season,” commented Purple Bull’s double world champion Max Verstappen, whose win in Melbourne was his dominant crew’s third in three races up to now.

“I desire to maintain racing,” agreed Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, who completed third on Sunday for the third race in succession.

“You’ll use it (the break) simply to organize for the following race in a greater manner and overview the primary three races. And, , in my case it’s a brand new crew, so there are a few issues that we need to revisit.

“So it is OK, however it’s higher to do it on a racetrack.”

Others, significantly these working lengthy hours and spending weeks away from households with out the compensations of personal jets and tens of millions within the financial institution, might even see it in another way.

“I simply mentioned to the fellows, take it straightforward in these three weeks, do not do something I would not be doing,” mentioned Haas crew principal Guenther Steiner, whose outfit are one of many smallest within the paddock.

“For the race crew, there’s a possibility to have a little bit little bit of relaxation as a result of the remainder of the season might be powerful.”

The break offers extra time additionally for groups to work on upgrades and add spares after a bruising weekend for some in Australia.

Baku’s avenue circuit would be the first dash weekend of the season, with extra harm to be anticipated.

As soon as-mighty Mercedes are taking part in catch-up whereas Ferrari, pointless in Melbourne and but to look on the rostrum this season, return to Maranello with loads of work to be achieved on the manufacturing facility.

“I believe within the state of affairs we’re in as a crew, we take this as a possibility to work as a lot as potential throughout this break with a view to get upgrades as rapidly as potential,” mentioned Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc earlier than the race.

The game and crew bosses may also be speaking additional concerning the dash weekend format and whether or not to make Saturday’s race a standalone occasion.

“No choices had been taken (in Melbourne) however (Components One chief government) Stefano (Domenicali) desires to proceed to try to see what we will do to make the game extra thrilling, so keep tuned,” mentioned McLaren boss Zak Brown.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, enhancing by Christian Radnedge)