F1 reveals plan after Lando Norris criticism

McLaren driver Lando Norris has publicly criticised the FIA, prompting a statement from the motorsport governing body.

The FIA has announced a partnership with Formula One to proactively address the extreme conditions that drivers had to endure during the Qatar Grand Prix.

Following complaints from multiple drivers about the scorching temperatures during the event, which led to three drivers seeking medical attention due to overheating, both organisations have committed to preventing a recurrence of such challenges.

Max Verstappen, who secured his third successive world championship title over the weekend, voiced his concerns about the intense heat inside the cockpits during the race and called for a meeting with the FIA. 

Verstappen emphasised the need for discussions, stating, “This was definitely way too hot. 

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“Obviously, we need some discussions I think about a lot of things from this weekend. It’s not a good situation to be in.”

His sentiments were echoed by Lando Norris, who described the conditions as “too dangerous” and revealed that some drivers had passed out after the race.

Responding to the drivers’ concerns, the FIA released a statement on Monday night expressing its unease about the impact of extreme temperatures and humidity on the drivers’ well-being. 

The statement read, “The FIA notes with concern that the extreme temperature and humidity during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix had an impact on the wellbeing of the drivers. 

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“While being elite athletes, they should not be expected to compete under conditions that could jeopardise their health or safety.”

The statement continued, “The safe operation of the cars is, at all times, the responsibility of the Competitors, however as with other matters relating to safety such as circuit infrastructure and car safety requirements, the FIA will take all reasonable measures to establish and communicate acceptable parameters in which Competitions are held.”

As a proactive measure, the FIA has initiated an analysis of the situation in Qatar to formulate recommendations for addressing extreme weather conditions in the future. 

While next year’s edition of the Qatar Grand Prix is scheduled for a later part of the year when lower temperatures are expected, the FIA is committed to taking immediate action to prevent a repeat of the challenging scenario.

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The FIA’s statement also mentioned that discussions will revolve around implementing a “number of measures” to enhance the safety of drivers racing in Qatar. 

One of the key focus areas will be researching methods to improve airflow into the cockpit, addressing the root cause of most issues faced by drivers in Doha.

The lack of airflow within the confined cockpit space had severe repercussions, leading to Logan Sargeant’s retirement on Sunday due to extreme dehydration caused by the heat.