Alpine boss in favour of early F1 season break

Otmar Szafnauer supports the idea of an early F1 season break

Otmar Szafnauer supports the idea of an early F1 season break

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has suggested that the current three-week break early in the F1 season has merit.

F1 was last in action on the opening weekend of April and will be back on track at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Round 4 of the championship, at the end of the month.

The gap between events was unplanned and exists because of the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix.

As that event was not replaced, the 2023 calendar features an extended break early in the season.

“Although not planned, in a calendar that has 23 races and some back-to-backs and triple headers, it’s nice to have a three-week break now, a three-week break in August, and a break for Christmas,” said Szafnauer.

“Maybe, if it’s just so by luck that we gain the knowledge that it’s good to do it this way, maybe it should be by design in the future.

“I know the season just started, but it’s not about just the start of the season because a lot of people worked hard over the winter preparing the cars for testing, testing then the races.

“Now, to have a bit of a break, that just helps you in what’s coming.

“And then and then in August, you know you have another break. It might be a way forward.”

Twenty races remain this season, concluding only at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in late November.

Another three-week break occurs following the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of June, with the sport returning at the Dutch GP on August 27.

A winter shutdown period was agreed upon at a meeting of the F1 Commission in February, covering both teams and power unit manufacturers.

When F1 returns at the end of April, it does so with back-to-back events in Azerbaijan and Miami.

A triple-header follows a week off, with the Emilia Romagna, Monaco, and Spanish Grands Prix in rapid succession.

Indeed, once the season resumes, there are just four weekends before the summer break when F1 doesn’t race.

That is also true after the summer break, with 10 races in 14 weeks – a run that includes a triple-header and three back-to-back events.

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