As F1 Drivers Complain About Qatar Heat, Lewis Hamilton Says "Let's Not Get Too Soft"

As F1 Drivers Complain About Qatar Heat, Lewis Hamilton Says "Let's Not Get Too Soft"

Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is not exactly on the same page with the rest of the field when it comes to the extreme conditions they faced during the Qatar Grand Prix, saying that as extreme athletes, drivers can expect to face extreme conditions. As an outsider, it’s impossible to agree with Hamilton when drivers are passing out behind the wheel. Cockpit temperatures at the desert F1 night race exceeded 120 degrees with multiple drivers experiencing dehydration and symptoms of heat stroke.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC SUV | First Drive

Hamilton insisted that Formula 1 should aim to remain an extreme sport where drivers are pushing their bodies to the limit. He noted that it’s a motivator for him to be in peak physical condition. The Mercedes driver didn’t actually complete a single lap of the Qatar Grand Prix after colliding with his teammate George Russell in the first corner of the opening. Hamilton explained to Sky Sports:

“I want to feel the difference, I want to feel pain in my body, I want to be able to, hopefully with that extra bit of training that you put in or that extra bit of dedication that you have had, helps you get that extra lap and win that race. That’s what this is about.”

“We have got to be careful how we move with changes. We have got track limits and all these big runoff areas. Back in the (Ayrton) Senna days, you go over the kerb, it’s grass and you pay the penalty. It’s like, ‘let’s not get too soft!’”

See also  Is Your Denial Based on Late Notice of Loss—Who Has To Prove Prejudice?

“Of course, if I was in the race, I would have struggled to get out afterwards also. But, I love that. That makes it closer to what it was back in the day, where Mansell was passing out after a race – this is extreme and we are supposed to be elite athletes and to be elite, you need to be pushing to the limit.”

While Hamilton has his views, the FIA is working to prevent some of the dangerous situations that happened in Qatar. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll passed out at several points during the race, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon vomited in his helmet and William’s Logan Sargent was forced to retire after experiencing heat stroke symptoms.

People want to see drivers racing wheel-to-wheel, not being put through torture. No one should be nostalgic for the adverse conditions of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Yes, Ayrton Senna paid the ultimate price for a mechanical failure outside his own control. There’s nothing daring or heroic about that. The prospect of a 200-mph crash today caused by a driver passing out at the wheel would be pinned on the team and the organizing body as irresponsible.