The McLaren rookie is treated for dehydration and heat injuries following the failure of a radiator seal on his MP4-29
Seldom has a single world championship point been so hard-earned. Kevin Magnussen required medical attention for dehydration and minor burns after nishing tenth at the Singapore Grand Prix, highlighting the vulnerability of the present generation of drivers, who must maintain minimal body weight to be as competitive as possible.
Singapore is one of the most physically demanding grands prix of the year for drivers on account of its length – the race regularly runs to the two-hour limit – the bumpiness of the track, and the hot and humid conditions. Dehydration is one of the greatest threats since it magnies fatigue, which in turn leads to mistakes.
In Magnussen’s case the ambient heat was exacerbated by a broken radiator seal, possibly a consequence of running over the kerbs at Turn 7 in the early laps, which led to a brief investigation by the stewards for exceeding track limits. The broken seal caused hot air to be vented into the cockpit area, heating up his seat and drinks bottle. The contents of the bottle quickly became too hot to drink – he complained over the radio that it was burning his mouth – and, over the closing laps, Magnussen had to raise his arms out of the cockpit to direct outside air ow down his sleeves and on to his back.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was also suffering from dehydration, and began radioing the team two thirds into the race to say, “Oh guys, it’s really bad. I need to stop. It is a disaster.” Then, with just one lap to go, he pleaded with them: “I can’t drive any more.”
After the nish, Magnussen’s trainer, Antti Vierula, treated his back with an iced towel while the team located a doctor. F1 Racing later saw them leaving McLaren’s hospitality unit on foot, with Magnussen looking pale and drawn.
“It was hot. Really tough,” he said. “I never experienced anything like this in racing. I couldn’t drink water, and the seat was very hot. I still feel dehydrated. I lost a lot of water.”
But with admirable stoicism, he later Tweeted that reports of his burns “were exaggerated” – and – “I was just hot and sweaty.”