F1 driver throws up inside helmet and another almost faints in intense Qatar GP

Esteban Ocon has revealed that he threw up inside his helmet during the Qatar Grand Prix, while George Russell almost fainted as the drivers were hammered by the searing Doha heat.

Singapore is traditionally the hardest race on the calendar when it comes to managing intense heat, but Sunday’s outing at the Lusail International Circuit placed another level of physical demand on the drivers.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about his experience, Ocon said: “I was throwing up yeah, for two laps I think. I was like ‘s*** – sorry for swearing – it was going to be a long one’. I tried to focus on exactly what I had to do but I’ve never had that in the past.

“I’ve always been able to do a full race distance. Today it was just the hot air and how hot the engine was behind the car. It must have been like 80 degrees in the car today.”

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Ocon’s struggles were far from the end of the chaos facing the drivers out there in Qatar. Under-pressure rookie Logan Sargeant had to be helped out of his car in the garage after he was forced to retire through illness in the closing stages.

Lance Stroll also struggled with the heat. Aston Martin’s driver was filmed hunched over the front-left tyre of his AMR23 car after clambering out of his vehicle in the pit lane after the race. 

Mercedes driver George Russell, who was caught up in a lap-one incident with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, described the conditions as borderline with the temperatures putting the drivers under unreasonable strain. 

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Speaking with Sky Sports F1 after the session he revealed that: “To be honest there were points where I thought I was going to faint.” Despite this challenge, he recovered a P4 finish after his opening lap contact.

Charles Leclerc also added to the conversation. He said: “I think everybody [struggled], no exceptions. I think it was the toughest race of our careers as drivers.

“The heat was absolutely crazy. Secondly, we’ve got a lot of high-speed corners. And, third, which I think is the most significant thing, is adding three stops.”

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