Fernando Alonso calls for change to F1 pre-race procedure

Issues following the 2023 Qatar GP have dominated the paddock in Austin


Fernando Alonso has suggested that the national anthems before Formula 1 races start should be moved forwards in terms of the build-up to lights out in a bid to help drivers preparation for a Grand Prix.

The Formula 1 paddock is in Austin ahead of the 2023 United States Grand Prix, but much of the chatter ahead of the on-track action was actually focused on events in Qatar, with the heat and humidity during the race making a number of the drivers ill and massively dehydrated over the course of the Grand Prix.

For Alonso, the issue was made even worse by the fact his seat was getting incredibly hot due to a recurring issue that the team are still working on with the Aston Martin AMR23, prompting the Spaniard to ask whether cold water could be thrown over him during a pit stop in the race.

Keeping cool before most races is a challenge for the drivers, and it certainly doesn’t help if your car is amplifying the issue, but Alonso believes regardless of the problem with his particular car that the pre-race build-up should be tweaked so the national anthems are played further away from lights out, providing a bigger window for drivers to cool down before the race begins.

Fernando Alonso during 2023 Qatar GP | Aston Martin F1 Team

Alonso calls for national anthem change

“We will discuss with the FIA a couple of different scenarios and procedures,” said Alonso to the press in Austin.

“I’m not a big fan of the national anthem being 14 minutes before we get into the car, for me this is unthinkable in any other sport where you put your body on the limit.

“So if that can move a little bit earlier and then you can cool down before going in the car you can put the temperature limit later in the race.”

In terms of the Aston Martin-specific issue, meanwhile, Alonso added: “We tried to isolate the boxes so we can improve some temperature, we are trying to do our best in terms of preparation, trying to start as cool as possible.”

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