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Other SportsF1 calendar to be reviewed following dangerous Qatar GP conditions

F1 calendar to be reviewed following dangerous Qatar GP conditions

The motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, has said drivers should not be competing in conditions that can “jeopardise their health and safety”, following a Qatar GP that left multiple drivers in the medical centre.

Held earlier in the year than the previous time out at the Losail International Circuit, drivers were facing 40-degree heat with no escape. Mercedes driver George Russell was seen driving with both hands on top of the wheel, trying to get some air, whilst other drivers were lifting their helmet visors.

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon vomited in his helmet on lap 15, and Williams rookie driver Logan Sargeant had to retire from the race with 16 laps to go due to feeling unwell. Speaking following the events post-race of drivers well-being, the FIA told BBC Sport:

“They should not be expected to compete under conditions that could jeopardise their health or safety.

“The FIA has begun an analysis into the situation in Qatar to provide recommendations for future situations of extreme weather conditions.”

The drivers on the grid will welcome this news following the aftermath of the race.

The top three drivers were visibly exhausted and lying on the floor in the cool-down room, whilst more cases of drivers struggling came to light. 

Footage of Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll having difficulty getting out of his car and almost passing out as he headed to an ambulance, along with Williams confirming their other driver, Alex Albon, was taken to the medical centre too and treated for heat exposure. 

Next year’s race is scheduled for later in the year when conditions should be significantly cooler, but it is still a priority on the FIA’s agenda for sooner rather than later.

“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.

“Measures may include guidance for competitors, research into modifications for more efficient airflow in the cockpit, and recommendations for changes to the calendar to align with acceptable climatic conditions, among others.”

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