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Running with penguins, courtside at the NBA and much more – How the F1 drivers spent their winter break

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With no racing since November, the F1 drivers have had plenty of time over the winter to get in some much needed R&R in preparation for the 2023 season. While many used the time to go skiing, others attended different sporting events, one made it all the way to the bottom of the earth, and another found the time make sandcastles. He's a look at what they've been up to...

Training in Antarctica

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton spent some of his winter training on the ice all the way down in Antarctica. Watch the video below to see him braving the elements on his morning run, while encountering a colony of penguins and a seal.

READ MORE: From Hamilton’s crystal ball to Mansell’s McLaren nightmare… 5 bold driver moves that paid off – and 5 that didn’t

Watching b-ball courtside

When NBA teams the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons made their way over from America to play in Paris in January, Pierre Gasly, Charles Leclerc, and Esteban Ocon had the best seats in the house to take in all the action.

Meeting the fans

In celebration of his second consecutive World Championship crown and Red Bull's fifth constructors’ title, Max Verstappen brought the heat to the streets of a cold Milton Keynes town centre, treating the fans to some donuts in the RB7.

READ MORE: Verstappen says Red Bull have ‘a lot of great ideas’ for their 2023 car as he targets third successive title

World Cup fever

While Sergio Perez was also in attendance at Red Bull's showrun in Milton Keynes, he made sure to be home just in time to cheer on his beloved Mexico in the men's FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately, they narrowly got knocked out in the group stages.

Racing!

It seems new McLaren team mates Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris couldn't wait until Bahrain to share the track together, as the Australian shared a picture of the duo going karting together over the winter break. From the video McLaren posted, the pair looked mightily quick.

READ MORE: ‘It’s important to be wanted’ – Webber shares insight into Piastri’s mindset during Alpine/McLaren contract battle

Building sandcastles

While many drivers have been training in much colder conditions over the winter break, Alex Albon has been spending a lot of his time in the sun. The Thai racer even found time to go to the beach, where he built some sandcastles. Very nice, Alex!

Enjoying some holiday food

While Valtteri Bottas also spent some time hitting the slopes this winter, the main thing we have learned this off-season is that the Finn is no different to many of us – and enjoys indulging in the occasional beverage and fries while on vacation.

TEAM GUIDE: Alfa Romeo's unique place in the F1 history books – and how they're set for 2023

Watching American football

Florida native Logan Sargeant will be racing in his home state at the Miami Grand Prix this year for Williams. But before he hits the track in his rookie campaign, he made a visit to the Miami Dolphins during their Christmas day regular season matchup with the Green Bay Packers, and it looks like he left with a souvenir. Will we see that helmet design on track this year?

READ MORE: Sargeant insists there’s no ‘extra pressure’ being first American F1 driver since 2015

Training

Carlos Sainz will have his eyes set on race wins – and a run at both championships with Ferrari this season. So, what better way to get ready for the new season than by training with, and picking the brain of, six-time MotoGP champion and fellow countryman Marc Marquez?

Hitting the gym with an old friend

When he wasn’t hanging out courtside with Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly was in a gym in Abu Dhabi with his good friend, and now former team mate, Yuki Tsunoda. It’s nice to see that even though they are on opposing sides this year, the bond is still strong.

READ MORE: ‘It was a hell of a ride’ – Gasly says AlphaTauri spell made him a ‘better driver’ as he gets set for Alpine switch

Sightseeing

The ever fashionable Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu returned home to China over the winter. On his travels, he made a stop alongside the Shanghai skyline, bringing along his matching purple painted race helmet.

Picking up an award

As he prepares for his third season as a Formula 1 and AlphaTauri driver, Yuki Tsunoda was certified as the first Sagamihara City Hometown Athlete back home in Japan on New Years Day. Congratulations Yuki!

Ice driving

2022 Sao Paulo GP winner George Russell had an entertaining winter, as not only did he and his family try their hand at driving on ice, but he also ended up in the gym with his boss.

WATCH: From scrapping with Verstappen to sensational Sao Paulo win – The best moments of George Russell’s 2022 season

Meeting some national heroes

When he wasn't watching hoops with Leclerc and Gasly, Ocon was hanging out with a few French legends. In this selfie, we can see the Alpine driver standing alongside ex-French international rugby player Sebastien Chabal, singer Christopher Mae and astronaut Thomas Pesquet. We wonder what they were up to...

More racing!

Haas racer Kevin Magnussen didn't stray too far from a racetrack this winter. Alongside his father, Jan, he took part in the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi, where they finished seventh, two laps off the lead. The Dane was also set to take part in the Daytona 24 Hours, but unfortunately some much-needed hand surgery ruled him out of action.

READ MORE: Magnussen pulls out of Daytona 24 Hours after undergoing hand surgery ahead of 2023 F1 season

Hitting the track

Ahead of his debut season in Formula 1 and with AlphaTauri, Nyck de Vries has been in the gym working hard, and preparing for the year ahead by getting in some laps at a wet Imola circuit in a 2021-spec AT02.

Keeping the reflexes sharp

Fernando Alonso has been training in preparation for not just his first campaign as an Aston Martin driver, but also his 20th season racing in Formula 1. Here he is proving that age is just number, by showcasing his outstanding reflexes.

WATCH: Go behind-the-scenes with Alonso for his first day at Aston Martin’s F1 factory

The seat fit

German racer Nico Hulkenberg has been getting reacquainted with a Formula 1 car once again after spending three seasons on the sidelines. Here he is getting a seat fitting with Haas ahead of the 2023 season.

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