FIA set to respond following Qatar GP's 'severe weather conditions.

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FIA set to respond following Qatar GP’s ‘severe weather conditions.

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Following the Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday, the FIA, the governing body overseeing Formula One racing, has announced plans to implement measures safeguarding racing drivers from the extreme heat they experienced.

During the race, some drivers were on the brink of collapse, experiencing symptoms such as vomiting and severe dehydration after crossing the finish line. Logan Sargeant of Williams felt too unwell to continue. The International Automobile Federation released a statement, revealing their initiation of an analysis of the situation in Qatar to offer recommendations for handling future instances of extreme weather conditions.

These measures may encompass providing guidance to competitors, researching modifications for improved cockpit airflow efficiency, and proposing calendar adjustments to align with acceptable climate conditions, among other strategies. The FIA will also explore research from other series, particularly cross-country events in extreme climates, for potential applications to circuit events.

The FIA anticipates discussions on these measures during an upcoming meeting of its medical commission in Paris. At the Lusail circuit, where Max Verstappen of Red Bull clinched his third world title, the track temperature during the night race never fell below 36 degrees Celsius (96.8°F), and daytime temperatures surpassed 40 degrees.

While acknowledging that the 2023 race in Qatar will be held in December when temperatures are expected to be lower, the FIA expressed a preference for taking concrete steps now to prevent a recurrence of this scenario. They emphasized that, despite being elite athletes, drivers should not be subjected to conditions that could jeopardize their health or safety.

Verstappen commented on the conditions, stating that even exceptionally fit individuals were struggling, likening the experience to “walking around in a sauna” all day.

The inaugural Qatar Grand Prix in 2021 took place in late November, with no race held in 2022 due to the country hosting the soccer World Cup. The calendar, comprising four Middle Eastern races, is assembled by the commercial rights holder and subsequently approved by the FIA. Typically, the Middle Eastern rounds are scheduled at the start and end of the calendar to avoid the hottest months. Next year’s calendar is set to feature a record 24 rounds.Drivers have also encountered difficulties with heat and humidity in Singapore and Miami.

Reference

www.stabroeknews.com/2023/10/10/sports/fia-to-take-action-after-qatar-gp-extreme-weather

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