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Russell Cooling Vent Impact

Russell: Cooling Vent’s Impact Minimal in Qatar

28/02/2024

George Russell reviews Mercedes F1’s cooling vent efficacy during Qatar GP amid extreme heat, stating minimal benefits.

George Russell states that the cooling vent tested by Mercedes F1 during pre-season testing (visible by his number 63) made very little difference at last year’s Qatar Grand Prix.

Drivers faced extreme temperatures at the Losail International Circuit, with the mercury not dropping below 36°C during the race.

The cockpit conditions were further exacerbated as Pirelli imposed a maximum stint length on tire sets due to potential cuts from the curbs, allowing drivers to maintain a much faster pace compared to typical race lap times.

Several drivers required medical attention post-race, with Logan Sargeant even withdrawing mid-Grand Prix due to exhaustion.

The FIA has introduced a new cooling duct for this year, located closer to the driver, whereas previously it was only permitted in the car’s nose area.

Vents were spotted on several cars during last week’s pre-season tests in Bahrain, but when asked if this would have helped in a scenario like last season’s, Russell remarked, “There was a bit of change with this additional vent, but I don’t believe it would have made a significant difference in Qatar last year.”

“I think with the ambient temperatures we had and the humidity, it felt like 40 degrees. But someone calculated that the felt temperature was more like 48°C in Qatar.”

“Since Romain [Grosjean’s] accident a few years ago, racing suits and undergarments have become thicker with fireproof layers.”

“The body temperature was probably approaching 40 degrees, which is on the verge of sending you to the hospital. It’s a very small step, but unfortunately, it’s still not enough.”

Russell Cooling Vent Impact. Russell Cooling Vent Impact

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