Lance Stroll has said Formula 1 needs to look into solutions for cooling drivers after temperatures were ‘too much’ in Qatar.
The Aston Martin driver was classified in 11th place at the chequered flag in Lusail, having been hit with a time penalty for exceeding track limits that was added to his race time and dropping him down from his ninth-place finish on the road.
The Canadian driver had a torrid weekend, having been knocked out in Q1 on Friday and drawing negative media attention after being spotted pushing his trainer out of his way as they made their way out the back of the Aston Martin garage.
Lance Stroll: Time penalties a joke given drivers can’t feel the kerbs
With Formula 1 responding to the issues encountered with the Lusail kerbing by changing the track limits to make the circuit a smidge more narrow through the problem sections, Stroll said the added challenge of trying to stick to the track limits relying on the visual paint alone was particularly frustrating, especially as he was one of several drivers who struggled to cope with the heat.
“Ill,” he told media when asked how he felt after the chequered flag.
“I finished ninth and then I think we got two track limit penalties, but I was passing out in the car.
“They painted the kerbs and made the track narrower, so you can’t even feel the kerbs. You’re just trying to see it, but the problem is you can’t see where you’re going because you’re passing out.”
Asked from what point he had started to feel woozy, he said: “[From] 20 laps to go.
“It’s a little bit of a joke that they’re giving penalties for this – they don’t understand what Formula 1 is and what they’re putting us through.
“They’re giving us track limit penalties and they’re making the track narrower. And you can’t go over the same kerbs because the tyres are failing if we do. I think the track limits thing is something I think just has to be addressed.
“Because we’ve seen Austria, we’ve seen this weekend, just people getting penalties and it’s not like we’re gaining an advantage when they’re going off the track by three millimetres.
“60 laps of concentration, 65-70 degree temperatures in the car with five to six and a half G, you know, that’s what the frustrating part is. We hustled out there and drove a good race to finish ninth on the road, and then 11th with no points with two penalties – it’s a really frustrating result to not get anything out of it.”
Lance Stroll proposes idea to help with extreme heat conditions
With the Singapore GP known as one of F1’s toughest races due to the extreme heat, Stroll said the added speed of Lusail made the Qatar GP even more difficult.
Addressing the physicality aspect of the Grand Prix, the Canadian driver put forward a suggestion for extra ventilation to be explored as an option for races held in hot conditions.
“I don’t know. Maybe they like it as part of the show,” he said, when asked what could be done.
“But yeah, I think it’s a combination of things. It’s the track limit thing. Having to focus like that, the time of year we come here, the temperature is too much. Maybe there is some kind of ventilation system, we have to look into for this kind of hot races like Singapore and here.
“Cars are getting stiffer, heavier – it’s a smooth track but you can feel the stiffness of the cars when you’re riding over kerbs and stuff and I think that’s a big part of the physicality.
“It’s just the ride, these cars being so harsh and the G-Force being so high, it makes it really challenging. Maybe it’s just something we have to address, think about going softer cars, some kind of ventilation system we bring to these kinds of races at these temperatures. And spend more time in the sauna, I guess!”