F1 drivers slam 'DANGEROUS' 50-degree heat at Qatar Grand Prix

F1 drivers slam ‘DANGEROUS’ Qatar Grand Prix – after Esteban Ocon vomited inside his helmet and Lance Stroll briefly lost consciousness as temperatures soared past 50 degrees in the cockpits

  • The mercury soared to over 50 degrees celsius on track at the Lusail circuit 
  • Russell claimed that up to 50 per cent of the grid had been affected by the heat 
  • Logan Sargeant went as far as retiring due to heat-induced illness on Sunday 

George Russell believes Formula One went ‘beyond the limit of what is acceptable’ by staging a Qatar Grand Prix that Lando Norris described as ‘too dangerous’.

Canadian driver Lance Stroll said he faded in and out of consciousness because of the extreme heat and humidity during Sunday’s 57-lap race in Lusail and was also seen stumbling towards an ambulance moments after he emerged from his Aston Martin.

London-born driver Alex Albon was treated for acute heat exposure at the on-track medical centre, while his rookie Williams team-mate Logan Sargeant was forced to park his car through illness. Alpine’s French driver Esteban Ocon also vomited during the race.

Temperatures in the drivers’ cockpits exceeded 50 degrees for a contest which lasted one hour and 28 minutes.

Russell, 25, who is director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, and revealed he came close to blacking out after driving back from last to fourth following his first-corner crash with Lewis Hamilton, said: ‘Today was beyond the limit of what is acceptable.

George Russell was outspoken about the punishing heat at the Gulf state grand prix on Sunday

On-track temperatures rose to 40 degrees celsius – but it was over 50 degrees in the cockpits

Russell claimed that over 50 per cent of the grid were affected badly by the humidity

‘Over 50 per cent of the grid said they were feeling sick, couldn’t drive and were close to passing out.

‘You don’t want to be passing out at the wheel when you are driving at 200mph, and that is how I felt at times.

‘If it got any hotter I would have retired because my body was ready to give up.’

This was only the second staging of the Qatar race and the first of a 10-year deal which, in the region of £45million each season, is among the most lucrative for the sport’s American owners Liberty Media.

Next year’s edition will be held two months later in December when it is expected to be cooler.

McLaren driver Norris, 23, who finished third, said: ‘We found the limit today and it is sad we had to find it this way.

Esteban Ocon shared that he vomited inside his helmet on lap 15 in the over 40 degree heat

Three-time world champion Max Verstappen clinched victory at the Lusail International City

‘It is never a nice situation to be in when people are ending up in the medical centre or passing out.

‘It is not a point where you can just say, ‘the drivers need to train more’. We are in a closed car and it gets extremely hot.

‘Clearly, when you have people who end up retiring or in such a bad state it is too much. It is too dangerous.

‘I know that next year this race is later on in the season, and it will be cooler, but it is still something that needs to be addressed. I am sure we will speak about it because it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.’

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