Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship
F1 legend Martin Brundle has struck out at the notion that drivers should not be made to compete in the tough conditions posed by Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix. Lando Norris and Lance Stroll were among those to propose changes after the race, which saw several competitors require medical treatment.
Extreme heat and humidity at Losail Circuit provided a testing backdrop for Max Verstappen to seal his third consecutive world title. Williams’ Logan Sargeant retired from the race due to feeling unwell, while Esteban Ocon claimed to have been sick in his helmet.
“Impressive to watch the F1 drivers cope with those conditions in Qatar,” wrote Brundle on X. “I’ve been that hot in a Le Mans/Dayton24/F1 car, you can get delirious at the wheel, and when the adrenaline subsides and the heat soaks you just can’t get away from your own body it hurts so much.”
Despite his vivid description of the brutal conditions, the former McLaren ace went on to suggest that those publicly calling for a new approach are taking a ‘weak view’.
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“It’s races like Qatar and very rainy days which make F1 drivers look the heroes and athletes they are,” he wrote. “Absolutely don’t buy into the weak view we shouldn’t put them through this kind of challenge. Check out [Ayrton] Senna in Brazil, [Jackie] Stewart at rainy Nurburgring, [Niki] Lauda post crash, etc etc.”
Although Brundle did not call out any current F1 stars specifically, his comments apply to public complaints made by the likes of Norris, Stroll, Verstappen and George Russell, who suggested that the FIA should avoid putting drivers through similarly tough races in future.
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“I was passing out in the car,” claimed Stroll, who finished outside the points for Aston Martin. “You’re just trying to see the kerbs, but the problem is you can’t see where you’re going because you’re passing out. The temperature is too much. Maybe there is some kinds of ventilation system we have to look into for these kind of hot races, like Singapore and here.”
Meanwhile, Norris said: “I think today we probably found the limit. I think it’s sad we had to find it this way. It’s never a nice situation to be in, some people ending up in the medical centre or passing out, and things like that.
“So, a pretty dangerous thing to have going on. When you have people who end up retiring or in such a bad state, it’s too much, you know, for the speeds we’re doing. It is too dangerous.”
Earlier this week, the FIA released a statement ‘noting’ the effect that the extreme conditions had on drivers, with footage of Stroll stumbling towards an ambulance after the race among the snippets leaving fans concerned.
“The FIA has begun an analysis into the situation in Qatar to provide recommendations for future situations of extreme weather conditions,” said the sport’s governing body. “It should be noted that while next year’s edition of the Qatar Grand Prix is scheduled later in the year, when temperatures are expected to be lower, the FIA prefers to take material action now to avoid a repeat of this scenario.”
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