Max Verstappen makes two new F1 demands after ‘silly’ Qatar Grand Prix

Michelle Foster
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen wearing an ice vest in Qatar.

Max Verstappen says it was "way too hot" to race in Qatar.

With at least two drivers needing medical attention in Qatar, Max Verstappen says it was “way too hot” for Formula 1 to be racing at the Lusail circuit and has called for changes.

Formula 1 returned to Qatar this past weekend in what proved to be a hot and humid grand prix weekend.

So much so Logan Sargeant didn’t see the end of the grand prix as the Williams rookie was forced to retire with severe dehydration, while his team-mate Alex Albon had to visit the medical centre after the race.

Should Qatar be moved to a new date?

Esteban Ocon revealed he threw up in his helmet, and that was after only 15 laps, while Lance Stroll said he was “passing out in the car” and “fading in and out”.

The brutal conditions have sparked calls for the Qatar Grand Prix to be moved to a different date with early October the end of the Qatar summer.

Speaking to Sky Sports after claiming the win, Verstappen said while it wasn’t his toughest race ever, it was “tough, just hot, and I think of course we could expect that, this weekend in general was way too hot to drive.

“If we have to do this again, we should really focus on trying to bring this race later on in the year.

“When it’s 40 degrees out there during the day I think it’s silly to to be pushing like this, especially with forced three-stops.

“It’s almost like a qualifying out there all the time, like really pushing flat out. And that’s probably a bit extreme out there.

“You can see a lot of people when I was walking to the podium that were still laying out there.”

Oscar Piastri, second on the night, lay down on the floor in the cooldown room such was his exhaustion as a result of the conditions. recommends

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Verstappen opposed to forced three-stop strategy

The conditions were made even more difficult for the drives being forced into three-stop strategies with the FIA limiting tyre stints to just 18 laps due to safety concerns.

This also had an impact on Verstappen’s pace as he felt the “limited” stints negated one of his RB19’s strengths.

“I think that was on the first stint when most of the drivers boxed, my front left still looked quite good,” he told the media in the post-race press conference.

“Yeah, I do think that today didn’t help us in terms of like… our trend is normally long stints and looking after our tyres. This didn’t work for us today, of course, they were too limited, the stints, but I do think at one point, my engineer told me to speed up a bit and we always had the pace to speed up.

“I just have to re-watch the race a little bit to understand a bit more what was going on behind me. I do think we had a bit more pace in hand if we really needed it.”

He, however, says that doesn’t “take anything away from McLaren” with Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris both less than six seconds behind him at the line. “They’ve been doing a great job and from us, we see that they are getting closer and closer. So we have to try and of course, maintain a bit of a gap.”

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