Ex-Aston Martin director blasts Martin Brundle

The 2023 Qatar Grand Prix sparked controversy in the Formula 1 paddock for numerous reasons.

Ex-Aston Martin communications manager Matt Bishop is pleased that the FIA are taking action to ensure that what happened at last weekend’s “unacceptably dangerous” Qatar Grand Prix never happens again, with drivers having passed out post-race.

The immense heat and humidity at the Lusail International Circuit resulted in horrific driving conditions, which became significantly worse after each driver was effectively forced to make three pit-stops, amid concerns with the tyres.

As a result, it meant that every lap was as intense as a qualifying lap, given that each set of tyres was only used for 18 laps maximum.

The drivers discovered just how physically and mentally challenging the race would be in the opening stages, with Esteban Ocon having thrown up in his helmet early on.

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Fernando Alonso even burnt himself in his cockpit, making for an additionally uncomfortable evening for the Spaniard.

Several drivers tried to open their visors to cool their faces, whilst Logan Sargeant was forced to retire due to feeling unwell.

Lance Stroll even revealed that he passed out during the race, thankfully only for a brief second.

Had he remained passed out for much longer, then the Qatar GP would’ve witnessed a horrific accident.

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Stroll gingerly stumbled straight to an ambulance after the race, whilst others took themselves to the medical centre where they passed out too, according to Lando Norris.

Parc ferme was littered with drivers laying on the ground after the race having been pushed beyond their limit, with many having labelled the evening as the toughest race of their career.

Many have called for action to be taken to ensure that the drivers never compete in similar conditions again, a view ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle doesn’t agree with.

The driver turned pundit compared racing in the immense heat to driving in torrential rain, with Bishop believing that those comparing it to “racing in the rain have missed the point”.

Bishop has worked with several drivers over the years and remains a respected member of the paddock, despite no longer working for Aston Martin.

Bishop raised the crucial point on social media that having drivers “faint or vomit” in the cockpit is categorically unacceptable and immensely dangerous, with it doing no favours for the sport or the drivers’ safety.

“I’m not a racing driver. I wasn’t in Qatar. But today I’ve spoken to 2 current #F1 drivers about the #QatarGP’s extreme heat, & it’s clear that some thought it was too oppressive for racing modern F1 cars, & others thought it was hard but just about OK,” Bishop wrote on Twitter/X

“My view, FWIW, is this. We all recognise that #F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, & that F1 drivers must be not only super-skilled but also super-fit & super-determined. However, pundits who have compared Sunday’s conditions to racing in the rain have missed the point IMHO.

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“Racing in the rain requires skill & courage. As such, it sits squarely in the wheelhouse of what makes #F1 drivers special. But racing in heat so great that drivers wilt, faint & vomit is dangerous in a way that’s neither acceptable nor even interesting from a sporting POV.

“I mean: who wants to see a race decided by which drivers wilt, faint or vomit & which drivers don’t? Not I.

“Also, it’s not only unacceptably dangerous but also unnecessarily so. In other words: we can try to fix it so we should, & I’m glad the FIA has committed to doing so.

“So IMHO racing in extreme heat isn’t like racing in the rain. It’s like racing on circuits littered with big, deep puddles over which modern #F1 cars will always aquaplane.

“That isn’t a good test of skill & courage. It’s a dangerous lottery, & F1 should never be that.”