‘I was passing out in the car’ says Lance Stroll as Qatar heat takes its toll

Lance Stroll claimed he passed out at the wheel of his Aston Martin because of the extreme humidity in Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.

American rookie Logan Sargeant was forced to retire through illness, French driver Esteban Ocon said he vomited in his cockpit, while London-born Thai Alex Albon was taken to the medical centre with acute heat exposure as the grid’s drivers battled the intense conditions at the Lusail International Circuit.

A statement from 27-year-old Albon’s Williams team read: “Following the Qatar Grand Prix, Alex was taken to the medical centre to be treated for acute heat exposure. He has now been assessed and cleared by the medical team.”

Williams also revealed Sargeant, 22, had suffered from “intense dehydration” following “flu-like symptoms earlier in the week”.

Aston Martin’s Stroll, 24, who fell over as he made his way to conduct his media duties, said: “I was passing out in the car.

“They painted the kerbs and made the track narrower but you can’t feel the kerbs. I couldn’t see where I was going because I was passing out. I was fading in and out. The temperature was too much.”

George Russell, who finished fourth following a first-lap collision with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, also revealed he felt ill throughout Sunday’s 57-lap Grand Prix.

“I felt close to fainting in that race and I have never experienced anything like it before.

“I wasn’t physically sick in the car but I felt ill. I had to ask my engineer to give me encouragement to take my mind off of it.”

This was only the second staging of the Qatar race and the first of a 10-year deal. Next year’s edition will be held two months later in December when it is expected to be cooler.

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