F1 Qatar Grand Prix: Why so many drivers fell ill and update on Logan Sargeant's health

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Williams driver Logan Sargeant retired during yesterday's Qatar GP due to health concerns

The gruelling heat of Qatar caused major problems for F1 drivers at the weekend.

As Max Verstappen claimed his third consecutive drivers' title at the Losail Circuit, with a victory yesterday (8 October) the extreme conditions led to many drivers suffering, both during and after the race. Williams driver Logan Sargeant retired halfway through the grand prix, telling his team over the radio that he "felt sick" and eventually pulling into the garage.

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Logan Sargeant was taken straight to the medical centre after he retired from the race. Picture: Getty ImagesLogan Sargeant was taken straight to the medical centre after he retired from the race. Picture: Getty Images
Logan Sargeant was taken straight to the medical centre after he retired from the race. Picture: Getty Images | Getty Images

Meanwhile, Alpine driver Esteban Ocon threw up in his helmet during the race - something he said he's "never had" before. Ocon finished seventh for the French team.

"I was throwing up by lap 15, 16. For two laps I think," he told Sky Sports F1.

"I've never had that in the past. I've always been able to do two race distances in the car, that's what I've always been training for, but today it was just the hot air and how hot the engine is from behind the car.

"I don't think we particularly sealed the cockpit too well. It must have been like 80 degrees inside the car. I'm glad that next year we come back here in December."

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Other drivers, including Sargeant's teammate Alex Albon and Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll, were seen struggling to get out of their cars at the end of the grand prix. Williams later confirmed that Albon was taken to the medical centre "to be treated for acute heatstroke" with Sargeant and numerous other drivers also getting assessed by doctors.

Why did so many drivers fall ill?

Despite being a night race, the intense heat in Qatar was certainly contributed to how drivers were feeling. With the cars unable to get any cool air, the cockpits also soared in temperature; Fernando Alonso and a handful of others complained of being quite literally in the hot seat.

Next year's race will be in December, which it's hoped may alleviate these problems.

But there were other factors at play - tyre concerns meant drivers were forced to pit three times during the race, and subsequently everyone was pushing harder than usual.

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Dehydration was also an issue, and was the first symptom of Sargeant's condition. Drivers have fluids they can drink during the race, but in a bid to save weight many have been putting the bare minimum into the car.

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri said: "It was a combination of a lot of things - the humidity, having three stops meant we were pushing flat out and just the nature of the track - there's a lot of high-speed corners that just naturally take its toll. Definitely the hardest race I've done."

How is Logan Sargeant?

Following his retirement, Sargeant went to the medical centre for treatment.

In a statement, Williams said: "Following Logan's retirement from the grand prix, he has been assessed and cleared by the medical team on-site after suffering from intense dehydration during the race weakened by having flu-like symptoms earlier in the week."

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The American driver - who currently doesn't have a contract for next year - posted on Instagram overnight, saying he suffered from "extreme dehydration" and thanking the team for their support.

The next grand prix is on home soil for Sargeant, as F1 heads to Austin, Texas, in two weeks' time.

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