IT was a weekend of controversy for Formula One amid the fallout from the Qatar Grand Prix.
An alarming number of safety concerns were raised following last weekend’safter drivers visibly struggled to cope with the 44-degree heat of the Middle East.
Sergio Perez was not a fan of an abrupt rule change by the FIA at the Qatar GPCredit: Getty
But Lewis Hamilton insisted the change should be implemented at other tracksCredit: Rex
Runner-upPiastri was seen laying on the floor after the , Lance Stroll took himself to the medical centre fearing dehydration, Esteban Ocon threw up in his helmet mid-race while Logan Sargeant was forced to retire his car citing illness.
While the FIA said they would be opening an investigation into the safety concerns, there was another matter which had some drivers fuming BEFORE the Grand Prix had even begun.
F1 was forced to implement a mandatory 18-lap stint limit owing to blowout concerns from Pirelli – who were today announced as the sport’s tyre supplier until 2027.
But the FIA took more tangible precautions before Saturday’s sprint race by bringing the kerbs around the track further in to try and avoid tyre failure.
The introduction of the limits resulted in multiple laps being deleted, notably for McLaren duo Piastri and Lando Norris which elevated Lewis Hamilton up to P3 for the race.
Red Bull star Sergio Perez was not a fan of the new track limits, tellingSports Italia: “These rules are absurd. I know the rules were the same for everyone, and it’s my fault if I got a penalty.
“I still think the FIA should look at the circuit before they let us race here. Changing the rules at the last minute won’t make it any better.”
Yuki Tsunoda shared this perception on the new kerbs, claiming the circuit was now a “floor destroyer track” as a result of the new kerbs, which switched to a pyramid shape.
However, Hamilton – who crashed out of Sunday’s race after a collision with Mercedes team-mate George Russell – did not share his rivals point of view.
He declared: “I think these new kerbs are great.
“When I went round the track yesterday on the scooter, I thought the kerbs looked quite big.
“But I think they’re actually really good. When you go beyond the highest point of the kerb you lose time, so I don’t feel like at this track we need to have track limits.”
He explained Norris’ qualifying penalty for exceeding track limits was harsh because of the new kerbs.
added: “I think we can take these kerbs as a good learning. We can take these kerbs to a bunch of other tracks.”
After crashing out of the race, Hamilton was also slapped with a £43,000 (€50,000) fine for breaking F1 rules by walking across track to get back to the paddock.