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F1 star makes major retirement claim

F1 star makes major retirement claim

F1 News

F1 star makes major retirement claim

F1 star makes major retirement claim

Esteban Ocon has insisted that you would have to 'kill' him before he retired from a Formula 1 race.

Qatar's high temperatures, escalating humidity, the physically demanding circuit with its fast corners, and the requirement for three pit stops, constantly pushing the limits of the tyres, collectively took a significant toll on the drivers' physical well-being.

In fact, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, and Lando Norris, in particular, raised concerns about the extreme racing conditions in Qatar. The cockpit conditions were so demanding that Logan Sargeant, battling severe dehydration, was compelled to retire on the 41st lap.

Ocon, on the other hand, endured such a gruelling race that he even experienced nausea to the point of vomiting inside his helmet during the early stages.

Esteban Ocon vomited in his helmet during the Qatar Grand Prix
A number of drivers sought medical assistance after the race

Ocon: You would have to kill me

“This is the most difficult point for which I had to fight," he said. “I felt bad on the 15th and 16th lap, I vomited for two laps inside the cockpit. Then I said to myself, 'Sh*t, this is going to be a long race'.

"I tried to remember that the mental aspect in sport is the strongest part of your body and I managed to control it and finish the race. But, honestly, I didn’t expect the race to be this difficult.”

"I can normally do two race distances, even in Singapore," he added. "Physically, muscle-wise and cardio-wise, I'm still doing well, but I don't know if it was 80 degrees inside the cockpit during that race.

Esteban Ocon believes Qatar was the toughest race of his F1 career

"I don't think we're doing the best job in terms of conserving heat in the back, dissipating it inside the cockpit where the pilot is driving, and I think that's why we felt so bad today.”

Despite his ordeal, Ocon secured a remarkable P7 finish, and never once contemplated giving up.

“It was so hot that I wanted to open the visor on the straight because I had no air," he said.

“I was also trying to get air into the helmet with my hands, but I couldn't. The more I breathed to try to lower the temperature, the more heat entered the helmet and honestly it was hell in there.

"Abandonment? It's not an option, giving up. I never intended to do it. You would have to kill me for me to abandon myself (of my own free will).”

FIA: We will act

The FIA are investigating the Qatar Grand Prix over driver safety concerns

In response to the statements made by the drivers, the FIA took action on Tuesday. They expressed their concern regarding the adverse effects of the extreme temperature and humidity experienced during the Qatar Grand Prix on the drivers' well-being.

Despite being elite athletes, the health and safety of the drivers is the most important consideration.

The regulatory body pledged to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the situation in Qatar and offer recommendations for handling similar extreme weather situations in the future.

READ MORE: Hamilton calls for F1 change to ensure fewer 'white male' team owners

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