The Miami GP was incredibly taxing as the intense heat and humidity of the track became almost too much for the drivers. Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz admitted that on top of his neck pain caused by his crash the Friday prior to the race, the heat was causing issues not only with the tyres, but with the driver himself.
“It wasn’t easy at all,” he said. “It’s been a tough race with the tyres, with the heat. The car was moving and sliding a lot but in the end we got what we deserved, which was a decent P3 and we can build on that from here.”
Drivers like Max Verstappen are at their peak level of fitness, but even the Red Bull driver admitted it was a “vey physical” race, and we could see him sat on the floor afterwards trying to recover. What mustn’t have helped was the fact that he had to get in a buggy after the race to be driven to his podium. It was loud, sirens were buzzing, lights were flashing, and fans were screaming. This was part of the Miami experience, but Martin Brundle admits that this wasn’t a good idea.
“It’s a long time since I’ve seen these super-fit and perfectly prepared F1 drivers look so battered after a 94-minute race,” Brundle wrote for his post-race column for Sky Sports.
“I know that horrible post-race feeling well, where your core is so hot and continues to well up, you’re missing a lot of fluid and every organ, muscle and tendon is complaining heavily in its demand for essential ingredients.
“You just can’t get away from your own body as the pain builds and the adrenalin fades. I felt for Max Verstappen sitting on the buggy post-race with the camera zoomed in – I’m sure he just wanted to lie down, roll around and groan a bit.
“Occasionally, after two hours in the humidity of Singapore they look pretty wrecked, but the grip level of the track and low degradation tyres, and therefore the relentless pace, was tough.
“There’s always an airless nature racing against the walls of a street circuit and inside the cockpit can be 50+ degrees as the aerodynamicists never want to waste much air and drag on the driver, who are then wrapped in multiple layers of clothing, gloves, helmets, boots, balaclava.
“I believe a lot of the clumsy contact we saw towards the end of the race was due to overheating drivers, which can make you feel light-headed and your judgement fades a little.”
We certainly saw some questionable racing during the Miami GP, with Pierre Gasly hitting Lando Norris, knocking out the McLaren, and a number of other badly judged overtakes, the most notable being from Sebastian Vettel.
Should Miami do something about this? And if so, what could the race organisers actually do? We’re not sure.