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Drivers reveal contrasting views on F1 four-week break

Formula 1 is currently part of the way through a four-week break in the calendar, a consequence of the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix. Some F1 drivers have welcomed the gap, but others are not so happy about it.

Several F1 drivers have given contrasting views on the current four-week break between races. Following the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix – originally scheduled for 16 April – Formula 1 opted not to replace the event, meaning that a gap opened up between the races in Australia and Azerbaijan. Charles Leclerc is amongst those to welcome the opportunity for the team to put some extra work in, given Ferrari's difficult start to the 2023 season. "I think in the situation we are in as a team, we take this as an opportunity to work as much as possible during this break in order to get upgrades as quickly as possible and be as competitive as we want the sooner in this season," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com . "It's still a very, very long season, we've only done two races. So, we are fully motivated to get back on top. And we'll try to use these weeks in the best way possible."

Mixed feelings for some

For rookie Oscar Piastri, the break in the 23-race calendar offers a chance to reflect on the positives and negatives of his first Grands Prix in F1. "I think, for me, it's a nice opportunity to, I guess, look back at the first three races of my F1 career and digest what went well, what went not so well," the McLaren driver said. "And it's a bit of a reset for the rest of the year. So, I think it'll be nice for everyone. "Obviously, you want to keep that momentum if you’re going well, it's a good chance to reset if you're not, so I think we'll use it to our advantage." Zhou Guanyu has mixed feelings about the gap in the calendar, given that he will no longer have the opportunity to race in front of his home crowd in China. "Obviously, I don't want to have that break, because you know which race was missing from that break!" Zhou commented. "But yeah, I think with such a busy calendar we're going to, it’s not just about going to different race weekends, it’s also going to a lot of activities with the team, sponsorships. "So I think it's always nice to have some period off, and I think for most of the drivers to reset and try to prepare for the forthcoming [races] and work on the weaknesses and try to improve all these things."

Alonso and Hamilton want to race

Elsewhere on the grid, some drivers would prefer to continue racing rather than take a pause. Fernando Alonso – currently third in the World Championship standings after a run of three consecutive podium finishes – is one of those to take this view. When asked if he welcomes the break, Alonso said: "No, I prefer to keep racing." The Spaniard expects that he will spend time at the Aston Martin factory during the four-week gap. "Obviously, [we] will use it just to prepare for the next race in a better way and review the first three races," he added. "And, in my case it's a new team, so there are a couple of things that we want to revisit and things. So, yeah it's okay, but it's better to do it on a racetrack." Lewis Hamilton is also not a fan of the break, with the Mercedes driver suggesting that it is too early in the season to need a reset. "Honestly, I don't think I need a mental break at the moment," Hamilton commented. "I feel pretty good. Particularly August usually is that time where you get that downtime. "I think it's good for the team to be able to really just sit down and focus and churn away during that time, focus on bringing upgrades and fixing the car. "I wish we were racing, personally, in that gap, but I'll try and make the best use of it. I haven't figured out exactly what I'll be doing through the whole time, but it'll be mostly training and keeping busy." As for championship leader Max Verstappen, the Dutchman has stated that he would ordinarily not look forward to the break, but that on this occasion he welcomes the opportunity to recover from a recent illness .

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