Driver flags, Suzuka, 2019

Netflix binge, FIFA tourney, dolphin protest: How F1 drivers will spend their day off

2019 Japanese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

While Super Typhoon Hagibis rages, the Formula 1 field find themselves with some unexpected downtime. Here’s how some of them are planning to spend it.

The gamers

Verstappen, PlayStation
Verstappen keeps his PlayStation handy
Plans for a FIFA tournament are forming:

We’re probably going to play some FIFA, some PlayStation back in the hotel tomorrow. Watch the typhoon because I guess it’s going to be quite spectacular. So it’s gonna be an experience we’re all quite expectant you know seeing what’s going to happen. But at the same time we all wish nothing happens, everything and everyone stay safe and we can race on Sunday.
Carlos Sainz Jnr

The day’s going to be long. So they say the advice is to stay inside at the hotel so we’ll probably use the spa, PlayStation with Max, Lando, Carlos. I have mine as well so we might end up doing a competition. And yeah we’ll see but we’ll find something to entertain us.
Pierre Gasly

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

I don’t know what we’re allowed to do. Like I don’t know if we have to stay in the hotel or if we’re allowed to go out.
Lando Norris

Well I’ve got my PlayStation here so I’ll for sure play a few games on that.
Max Verstappen

Xbox and modelling

Yamiya Tyrrell P34 model kit
Grosjean has great taste in models
Of course no gaming party would be complete without the one person who turns up with a different system. Fortunately Romain Grosjean has a first-rate back-up plan:

I’ve got the Xbox ready to go. Also bought the Tyrrell six-wheeler as a small model to build.

I bought the glue, I went to the shop in Yokkaichi. They’ve got an amazing remote control car and I wanted to buy them but I don’t have the tools to build them. So I said I’m just going to go for the small plastic one, the Tyrrell six-wheeler, just going to glue, do it, I don’t have the paint unfortunately, but then put the stickers on it.

While the glue is setting off, play Xbox a little bit.
Romain Grosjean

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Netflix and chill

Netflix "Drive to Survive"
Who fancies a “Drive to Survive” marathon?
The two Racing Point team mates have a similar plan.

There isn’t too much to do around here. So just hang out and watch some Netflix, I guess.
Lance Stroll

Netflix and chill. Not a lot to do!
Sergio Perez

While Antonio Giovinazzi will just do the ‘chill’ part:

I think I didn’t recover well on the jet lag so I will try to sleep.
Antonio Giovinazzi


The nearby bowling alley is a popular option too:

I’m not too sure. I think see what the other drivers are up to. Maybe, we have a bowling place by our hotel so I’m not sure but to be honest if the fans see us we’re going to get mobbed a bit.
Alexander Albon

Though there might be one more for that FIFA tournament:

I think maybe go bowling – there’s a bowling alley in the hotel. And relaxing. I really don’t know. Maybe some karaoke. Netflix. Some of the guys have got PlayStation – I know Sergio and Max have brought their PlayStation so try and hook up with them.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2019
Hamilton wants to “put the spotlight” on dolphin hunts
Lewis Hamilton fancies a spot of bowling too but he’s also hoping to get out of the area, which may prove difficult as the weather closes in:

We’re lucky, we have the day off. I’ll do some training. I’ll probably go back to Tokyo tonight. I love Tokyo so go back to Tokyo, have a nice time in Tokyo, good food. They’ve got great arcades back there as well.

So I might go and do that and then maybe come back tomorrow. Every Saturday I take the team bowling. I don’t know if that place is going to be open so we’ll wait and see.
Lewis Hamilton

He’s also hoping to raise awareness of a nearby animal rights protest:

I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow. Something, I don’t know if I’m going to make it there, but there’s something like three hours away called the cove where they’re slaughtering all the dolphins. I’m tempted to go tomorrow and do that because I’ve got nothing else to do and it would be great to kind of put the spotlight on something like that.

So I might do that. But it depends, I don’t know how long it will take me to get there so. But that’s obviously not a great part of their heritage here, their culture. But otherwise it’s a beautiful place.
Lewis Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2019
“I don’t think there’s much point going out…”
But few others are entertaining thoughts of venturing outside – Daniil Kvyat jokingly suggested he would spend the day playing golf. Sebastian Vettel is also sceptical about heading out:

I don’t think there’s much point going out with the forecast we have. So just going through some stuff and try to relax maybe flush the system a little bit, do some sports – indoors, obviously.
Sebastian Vettel

“We’re gonna struggle”

Not everyone is sure how they’re going to spend the day:

For sure we will do something. Enjoy Japan. Although a lot will depend on the weather.
Robert Kubica

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Sochi Autodrom, 2019
“Millenials, we’re gonna struggle…”
But he isn’t the only one short of ideas:

I don’t know, find a bar or something I guess. What else do you do? I mean I heard like I guess Wi-Fi is gonna be down it’s just… millennials, we’re gonna struggle.
Daniel Ricciardo


Finally, at least one person is hoping to get some work done:

Honestly I still need to speak with a team [see] what’s the plan. We might have some meeting somewhere and so on. But need to make the most out of it, try to chill. Also try to learn and dig into the data as well.
Valtteri Bottas

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

37 comments on “Netflix binge, FIFA tourney, dolphin protest: How F1 drivers will spend their day off”

  1. This is no different to a school with 20 kids :) Hamilton being the guy who does everything he wants to and still stands first in class. Bottas the geek who is there or thereabouts just wanting to see how he can topple the topper. Vettel being the previous topper confused about why he’s suddenly not getting good grades. And Danny Ric, who really just wants to have fun at school!

    1. Figures the response with the least amount of personality is from Robottas.

      1. How is wanting to work on something = “the least amount of personality”? That’s some high school level thinking.

    2. Hilarious!!!! @thedoctor03 . Kubica would-be the older kid that’s back after years of absence and doesn’t fit anymore. Norris the new kid who doesn’t know if he’s allowed to hit the playground during break. Stroll the rich kid that drives the Ferrari to school. Max is the guy that beats everybody at soccer, but people complain he plays roughly.

      Toto the literature teacher (everybody likes him), Steiner the grumpy math teacher, Horner the coach, Claire teaches arts (no one worries about grades) and Abiteboul is the substitute teacher nobody likes.

      And of course Todt is the friendly face school principal…

      1. Definite COTD.

      2. I want to be in that school!

  2. James Hunt and Emmo are disappointed by your lack of sexually-charged time off. Young Kimi would be, as well.

  3. Why is Hamilton protesting dolphins? What have they ever done to him?
    If they were doing quali tomorrow, sure, dolphins might take pole. But he should be safe on Sunday, now.

    1. He’s protesting about the capturing of dolphins that happens in Japan to either slaughter or sell to aquariams.
      IMO I am very happy to see him raising awareness about this issue.

      1. Absolutely! Even only this statement from Lewis helps already raising awareness.

        1. Agree.
          I don’t like his attitude most of the time, but I’m a huge fan of him using this opportunity to put a spotlight on the sides of Japan everyone conveniently ignores while praising them for everything else.
          Perhaps Lewis could say something about Fukushima too …

        2. +1, it would definitely put this protest on the radar of people who might otherwise not really been aware of it.

  4. I wish Lewis was more interested in protesting against whaling than ‘there’s nothing else to do’ but I guess I really can’t hope for more. For PR or not, sometimes he does make me admire him with stuff like this.

    1. @wsrgo Where I come from… you don’t go visit a foreign country, and protest their long standing and legal culture. That’s very… un worldly. He is a guest in their country, after all…

      1. Where do you come from?

  5. Not sure these guys know what Netflix and chill means :)

    1. … Or maybe they do!!! ;-)

  6. Pop some popcorn and gather everyone in Max’s suite to binge watch Netflix’ “Drive To Survive” for the 9th time.

    1. Can anyone else not get through a drive to survive episode due to the fake crash noises? I just can’t cope with them!!

  7. Grosjean can’t borrow a spanner or 2 from the pit crew to build a kit car?

    1. He could but they’re going to want to keep changing spec or reverting back to the original spec if he gets them involved…

      1. Lol. Awesome response

    2. @jimfromus as a tamiya kit lover, he doesn’t even need a spanner. Just a Phillips (or better, a JIS) screwdriver and the box wrench included in the kit.

      Plus the 6 wheeler is a very easy kit to build in RC form.

      1. @fer-no65 I’m also a Tamiya kit fan and as RG says, and if the kit he bought is the one pictured, then it’s a plastic model he’s building not the RC one. I think it is friggin awesome that he would want to build a model on a storm day. I’d do the same. I have that kit and all of the other Tamiya 1/20th F1 ones, as part of my collection.

        1. Great collection!

        2. (@robbie I know it’s the plastic model. But he said there that he didn’t get the RC because he didn’t have any tools with him.

          I also think it’s awesome he got a Tamiya kit to play. It’s the best thing to do on a rainy day. And great taste too.

  8. Did HAM do anything about bullfighting when he was in Barcelona?

    1. klexo, I believe the Catalan authorities – Barcelona being within Catalonia – banned bullfighting nearly a decade ago, and the city authorities in Barcelona declared that they were against bullfighting as far back as 2006. In that region at least, it would therefore not be possible to protest a bullfight as I believe no bullfight has occurred for about a decade now.

      1. Obviously it having already been banned is not a good enough reason to not hate on the black guy.

  9. Bottas couldn’t be more fin, perhaps that is why Ham wants to protect dolphins.

  10. Cristiano Ferreira
    12th October 2019, 0:13

    What about the other Finn?

    Spending the day taking a well, you all know what he said… or buying some ice creams?

    For sure he knows what he is doing :)

    1. He’s analysing the track map, whether some nice gates on service routes are open or not.

  11. Hamilton fighting for animals actually makes him really endearing to me

    1. Not just animals. Dolphins! Socially, they share a lot of similarities with humans!

  12. Romain Grosjean’s activity interests me the most. I’m the kind of guy who’ll look for toys and scale models wherever I go. Great to known Romain likes stuff like that.

  13. The model building is super enthusiastic. But I’ll bet you a beer that the video gamers will do better than the others tomorrow. If you need to be super reactive, the longer you wait after training, the worse it is on you. The video gamers have just done reactive training. Which is always works better the sooner you use it. Might be a stat to pay attention to.

  14. Reading a book is no longer fashionable, I reckon.

Comments are closed.