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F1 pundit compares drivers to triathlon’s Brownlee brothers as Qatar GP controversy rages

F1 meets triathlon after an extreme Qatar Grand Prix

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The debate coming out of Sunday’s F1 Qatar Grand Prix has caused quite the storm on social media, and even triathlon got a callout on Tuesday.

Arguments raged in the hours following the race due to the extreme conditions drivers were forced to contend with in Losail. And those arguments were still racing on Tuesday.

In the aftermath of an event which played out in brutal heat, Alpine driver Esteban Ocon revealed he threw up during the race while McLaren star Lando Norris called the race conditions “too dangerous”.

Williams star Logan Sargeant meanwhile retired due to feeling “sick” while his team-mate Alex Albon headed to the medical centre and didn’t attend the post-race media activities. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll nearly fainted when getting out of his Aston Martin following the race.

While the sport’s governing body the FIA said it noted the issues from Sunday, many promiment figures defended the decision to race. Notable among them were Will Buxton – star of Netflix show ‘Drive to Survive’ and a presenter for Formula One.

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Qatar GP gave Buxton Cozumel vibes

He said F1 drivers should have the choice to race or not, and likened them to triathletes. Specifically that iconic moment featuring the Brownlee brothers – Alistair and Jonny – in Cozumel in 2016.

Alistair of course helped Jonny when his brother suffered from heat exhaustion during the latter stages of that race in Mexico, and spoke at length afterwards about the serious ramifications it can have.

Buxton told his followers on X (formerly Twitter): “Absolutely do not agree with the social media noise around a retrospective anger to have called the race off. Racers race. Lights to flag. They are elite sportspeople and the choice to compete and to continue is theirs alone. As radio comms attests.

“I think of triathletes pushed beyond their limits. The Brownlees. That show of ultimate sportsmanship. Countless examples in numerous sports where competitors have pushed beyond. But again I ask the question from the outset – recklessness or courage? A fine line.”

Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.
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