Williams driver Logan Sargeant retired from the Qatar F1 GP after experiencing a heatstroke.
The FIA has confirmed that action will be taken after “dangerous heat” claims were shared among drivers at the Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix (GP).
In a statement, Formula One’s governing body said, “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, amongst others.”
The FIA said measures would be discussed at an upcoming meeting of its medical commission in Paris.
Qatar’s first race in 2021 was held in late November and is next scheduled to host during December next season, when weather is expected to be cooler than its current October temperatures.
The announcement by FIA came after drivers competing at the 2023 Qatar GP required medical attention after experiencing heat exhaustion during the race on the weekend.
The combination of heat took its toll on several drivers at the Lusail Circuit, including Williams duo drivers Logan Sergeant and Alex Albon, Mercedes driver George Russell, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, and even Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who won the Qatar GP.
The race was held in temperatures of more than 30C with high humidity levels and left drivers struggling on high-speed corners.
“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,” said Ocon in his post-race interview.
“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,” the Alpine driver added.
Sargeant, who was already unwell before the race began, withdrew after 40 laps to be taken to the medical centre.
“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,” said the Williams team in a statement.
The American rookie attempted to make it through, but after speaking to his team, he decided to retire on lap 42 of 57.
Sargeant’s teammate, Albon, was also taken to the on-track medical centre to be treated for acute heat exposure.
“It was absolutely brutal, by far the most physical race I’ve ever experienced,” said fourth-place finisher Russell.
“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,” Russell added.
“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,” the Mercedes driver said.
Verstappen, who won his third world title on Saturday and followed it up with victory in the Grand Prix said “these kind of temperatures are just too extreme” after his win.