Fernando Alonso has proposed a novel idea to F1 and the FIA to shift the timing of when a national anthem is played before a grand prix to aid drivers in hot conditions.
At present, all 20 drivers are required to line up at the front of the grid to acknowledge a host country's anthem.
Aston Martin driver Alonso feels if a national anthem was played earlier, that would allow the drivers the opportunity to cool down away from the grid before eventually returning moments before stepping inside the cockpits of their cars.
At present, the FIA is considering its options as to how best to tackle a similar situation in the future as occurred in Qatar.
“The conditions were a little bit too extreme to race, but obviously, no one anticipated them,” said Alonso, speaking to the media ahead of this weekend's United States Grand Prix.
“On Saturday it was not as bad, but on Sunday, the humidity and the temperature were much higher, so that was maybe a little bit of a surprise.
“Hopefully, we will learn from this episode because, as I said, it was too on the limit of the physical aspect for the drivers.
“In Formula 1 there is a list of priorities, and maybe in Qatar, we found an episode that we want to improve.”
Offering one potential solution, Alonso added: “In WEC, for example, there are sensors in the cockpit, that the temperature inside the car cannot be two degrees more than the outside temperature.
“If you are above that temperature, you have to stop. The FIA tells you to stop, so those kinds of things have to be implemented somehow in Formula 1, they have to be discussed, that there is a limit because probably Qatar was over the limit.”
Returning to the subject later in the discussion, Alonso then proposed his national anthem idea.
“About the temperature, for sure, we will discuss with the FIA a couple of different scenarios and procedures,” added the two-time F1 champion.
“I'm not a big fan, for example, of the national anthem being played 14 minutes before going in the car.
“It is unthinkable, in any other sport, that you would put your body on the limit (as the drivers did in Qatar).
“So if that can move a little bit earlier, and you can cool down before going in the car or whatever, it's putting that temperature limit further into the race instead of reaching that limit on lap 15, so maybe you reach it on lap 40, and it's only 15 laps of struggle.”
During the race in Qatar, Alonso's personal situation was exacerbated by the fact a variety of electrical boxes underneath his seat resulted in it overheating, with the thicker thermal race suit – brought in as a protective measure following Romain Grosjean's fireball crash in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix – an additional factor.
As for making him more comfortable for this weekend's race at the Circuit of the Americas, where temperatures will again be over 30 degrees, although with the humidity far less of a factor, Aston Martin has attempted to take protective measures.
“We've tried to insulate, as best we can, the boxes and all these kinds of things just to make sure that we can lose some temperature there (in the seat),” said Alonso.
“We are trying to do our best in terms of preparation as well, trying to start the race as cool as possible.”