Martin Brundle fumes over ‘weak view’

Former F1 driver Martin Brundle and pundit Will Buxton have addressed the speculation over the future of the Qatar Grand Prix.

The Qatar Grand Prix stirred controversy due to its oppressive conditions, with drivers claiming they were nearly passing out mid-race. 

Amidst the criticism surrounding the decision to hold the race in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius and humidity exceeding 70%, former Formula One driver Martin Brundle took to social media to express a contrary viewpoint. 

Brundle’s stance found support from fellow pundit Will Buxton, sparking a debate within the F1 community.

Brundle, known for his spectacular crash at Albert Park in 1996 during his racing career, challenged the notion that the race should have been canceled, drawing inspiration from legendary drivers of his era. 

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He tweeted, “It’s races like Qatar and very rainy days which make F1 drivers look the heroes and athletes they are. 

“Absolutely don’t buy into the weak view we shouldn’t put them through this kind of challenge. 

“Check out Senna in Brazil, Stewart at rainy Nurburgring, Lauda post-crash, etc., etc.”

Interestingly, Brundle’s perspective diverged from that of his son, Alex, a former regular in the World Endurance Championship, who expressed his concerns about F1’s physical demands compared to other motorsports.

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In response to the debate, F1 broadcaster Will Buxton concurred with Brundle’s viewpoint. 

He noted that while many drivers had concerns about safety, none called for the race to be canceled. 

Buxton mentioned Logan Sargeant’s decision to retire during the race after being told there was “no shame” in doing so by his team. 

He argued, “Racers race. 

“Lights to flag. 

“They are elite sportspeople, and the choice to compete and to continue is theirs alone. 

“As radio comms attest. 

“I think of triathletes pushed beyond their limits. 

“The Brownlees. 

“That show of ultimate sportsmanship. 

“Countless examples in numerous sports where competitors have pushed beyond. 

“But again I ask the question from the outset – recklessness or courage? 

“A fine line.”

The challenging conditions took a toll on several drivers, with Williams’ Alex Albon requiring assistance after the race due to “acute heat exposure.” 

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc described the Qatar Grand Prix as the toughest race of every driver’s F1 career, and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas compared the cockpit’s temperature to torture.

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Alpine’s Esteban Ocon revealed that he experienced severe discomfort as early as lap 15 of the race, including vomiting inside the cockpit. 

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen emerged victorious in the race, with Australia’s Oscar Piastri achieving his best F1 finish. 

However, both drivers experienced physical effects, while Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll claimed he was “passing out” and suffering from blurred vision due to the extreme temperatures, leading to concerns about safety.