FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

‘Too dangerous’ Qatar Grand Prix sees drivers throwing up and passing out

The sweltering Qatar heat got the better of numerous drivers over the 57-lap race

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Calls for major changes to the Qatar Grand Prix are being made after several drivers struggled with the heat during and after the race.

The podium sitters were markedly exhausted in the cooldown room after the race (Image Credit: @F1 on X)

Temperatures almost reached 40 degrees Celsius over the weekend in Qatar, with high levels of humidity. Meanwhile, the 20 drivers on the grid for the race were strapped into a cramped cockpit wearing thick protective overalls.

Some may say it was no surprise that several pilots succumbed to the sweltering heat of Khor Al-Adaid, also known as the Inland Sea, in more ways than one.

First to fall by the wayside was the Williams of Logan Sargeant. Despite having a strong desire to finish the event after retirement in the Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix, the American eventually pulled into the pits on lap 40, complaining that he was feeling ill.

Williams posted an update on Sargeant’s condition after the race, with good news: “Following Logan’s retirement from the Grand Prix, he has been assessed and cleared by the medical team on-site after suffering from intense dehydration during the race weakened by having flu like symptoms earlier in the week.”

His teammate Alexander Albon limped his way over to the medical centre upon exiting his car, and wasn’t present in the media pen. It turns out the Thai-British driver suffered similar symptoms to Sargeant, with Williams providing more information: “Following the Qatar GP, Alex was taken to the medical centre to be treated for acute heat exposure. He has now been assessed and cleared by the medical team.”

Drivers fainting in the car and throwing up

That wasn’t all however. Esteban Ocon of Alpine wrestled his way to a P7 finish, despite throwing up inside his helmet early on in the race.

The Frenchman explained further to media: “I was feeling ill, lap 15, 16, I was throwing up for two laps inside the cockpit… that was the hardest-fought points that I’ve ever had to fight for.”

Lance Stroll endured a difficult weekend. He was knocked out in the first phase of Qualifying for the fourth successive time, shoving his personal trainer and swearing on live television in frustration.

Things got from bad to worse during the race however, as onboard footage shows the Canadian losing consciousness at numerous points while circling the Lusail International Circuit.

Stroll confirmed as such after the race, adding: “It’s ridiculous. These temperatures — everything goes blurry. The last 25-30 laps it’s just blurry in the high-speed corners. Blood pressure dropping, just passing out, basically, in the high-speed corners with high loaded G-forces.”

“I couldn’t see where I was going because I was passing out. I was fading in and out. The temperature was too much.”

Along with concerns about tyre wear after the Sprint race forcing Pirelli to mandate an 18-lap limit on any compound, driver health concerns added to the safety risks present over the Qatar Grand Prix weekend.

Third-placed Lando Norris believes that the Qatar round should never take place in October again. He stated: “When you have people who end up retiring, or are in such a bad state, it’s too much. For the speeds we are doing is it is too dangerous.”

“”I know that this race next year is later on in the season and it will be a lot cooler, a few months later, but it’s something needs to be thought of. I’m sure we will speak about it because it kind of shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

Feature Image Credit: @F1 on X

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top