The F1 drivers had to visit medical center post Qatar GP while many had difficulty in getting out of their cars in parc ferme.
The heat and humidity made it tough on the drivers in F1 Qatar GP and with no wind even in night conditions, it was undoubtedly the hardest and toughest in terms of concentration and a different form of physicality where gym exercises won’t come in play.
A lot of drivers complained of dizziness, fainting moments along with nauseousness. Post-race, many had difficulties in getting out their cars too as they needed rest. Williams’ Logan Sargeant was forced to retire due to intense dehydration.
He was one of the few drivers who was taken to the medical center. “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,” stated Williams.
His teammate Alexander Albon completed the grand prix but had difficulties in getting out of the car. He too had to go to the medical center for acute heat exposure. “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,” said Williams.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was seen talking to the ambulance after getting out of the car in parc ferme, while Haas’ Kevin Magnussen also needed some rest as did Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman, in fact, noted about throwing up inside the helmet as he and the Canadian too visited the medical center but were cleared soon.
Here’s what some of the F1 drivers said –
Sargeant: “The main thing is Alex and I are both ok. I’ve been feeling unwell all week which didn’t help with the dehydration in this heat. The last thing I wanted to do was retire the car, but I had to put my health first. Sorry to the team for not being able to reach the finish line. They’ve done an incredible job all weekend in these intense conditions. I’ll be taking next week to fully recover and then bounce back in Austin which I’m really looking forward to.
Albon: “Firstly, I’m glad Logan is okay as it’s never easy to retire from a race. I think this race goes down as one of the toughest of the year, as I suffered with heat exposure myself. Our pace was pretty strong, but I need to review what happened, as we were in what felt like a good position, but we ended up falling out of the points. We also struggled with a bit of an overheating cockpit, so we’ll also need to review this.”
Ocon: “I was feeling ill lap 15 and 16, I was throwing up for two laps inside the cockpit. And then I was like, ‘shit, this is going to be a long race’. I tried to calm down, I tried to remember that the mental side in sport is the strongest part of your body and I managed to get that under control and finish the race. But, honestly I was not expecting for the race to be that hard.”
Stroll: “I was passing out in the car and they painted the kerb, the track narrows and so you can’t even feel the kerbs, you just kind of see it but you can’t see where you going when you are passing out. I was full fading from 20 laps to go. My seat was getting hot too, giving burning feeling. The car was hotting up in these temperatures.”
Magnussen: “It was mainly getting out of the car. All this heat just, I felt really dizzy, it was just the heat. Out there it was okay, I felt nauseous at times but it was okay.”
Tsunoda: “I didn’t want to open the visor because sand also coming through the visor, I can feel sand coming inside my eyes but if I close the visor, it is insane amount of heat. It is same for everyone but when you are behind a car it is worse. It was one of the toughest. It was much-much worse than expected.”
Russell: “It was absolutely brutal, by far the most physical race I’ve ever experienced. I felt close to sort of fainting in that race, I’ve never experienced anything like it before. I asked my engineer to give me encouragement just to try and take my mind away from it. I do a lot of heat training in the sauna, so you push your body to the limit, and sometimes you just need to get out of that sauna. That’s sort of how I felt from about lap 20. I opened my visor for the whole race, and it was hot air, but it was better than no air.”
Here’s how F1 Qatar GP panned out