Latifi apologises for crash that influenced F1 title battle

Nicholas Latifi has apologised for his Abu Dhabi GP crash that sparked a late safety car period, saying it was never his intention to inadvertently influence the Formula 1 title battle.

Listen to this article

Williams driver Latifi crashed into the wall at Turn 14 with six laps remaining at the Yas Marina Circuit, resulting in a safety car that would help decide the championship.

Lewis Hamilton had been more than 11 seconds clear of title rival Max Verstappen, and was poised to win a record eighth title, only for the safety car to wipe away his lead.

Race director Michael Masi opted to resume the race with one lap remaining, during which Verstappen passed Hamilton to win both the race and the championship.

Latifi explained that he had been battling with Haas driver Mick Schumacher throughout the lap he crashed, and had dirty tyres after being run off the road at Turn 9.

“We were just really struggling for grip through the next sequence of corners, and especially where I ended up going off,” Latifi said. “It’s been a tricky corner all weekend for me, so dirty tyres, dirty air and I made a mistake.

“I wasn’t aware of the situation of the race up until then. Obviously it was never my intention to inadvertently influence that, but I made a mistake and ruined my own race.”

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Comparisons have been drawn between Latifi and Timo Glock, who played a decisive role in the outcome of the 2008 championship when his decision to stay out on dry tyres in wet conditions led to him being overtaken by Hamilton on the final lap.

“It was never my intention and I can only apologise for influencing and creating an opportunity,” Latifi said. "But again, I made a mistake.”

The decision to restart with one lap remaining has been a point of controversy following the race after Mercedes opted to lodge a protest with the stewards.

Mercedes claimed that Masi had not followed the sporting regulations by resuming when he did, and requested the results be put back to the end of the penultimate lap, which would have seen Hamilton be crowned champion.

But the stewards dismissed this protest, with Masi arguing that teams have long agreed that it is preferred to finish races under green flag conditions and not behind the safety car.

Mercedes had lodged its intention to appeal the ruling with the FIA, but has until Thursday night to formalise the appeal.

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton felt Abu Dhabi GP was "manipulated" in unplayed F1 radio message
Previous article

Hamilton felt Abu Dhabi GP was "manipulated" in unplayed F1 radio message

Next article

F1 drivers left confused by “made for TV” safety car unlapping call

F1 drivers left confused by “made for TV” safety car unlapping call
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Prime

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Prime

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Prime

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Prime

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded Maurce Hamilton of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Prime

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination.

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022