Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Imola, 2020

Latifi: Imola an improvement after “worst race of the year” in Portugal

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In the round-up: Nicholas Latifi was satisifed with his performance at Imola, despite narrowly missing a chance to score his first point.

What they say

Latifi finished within a second of 10th-placed Antonio Giovinazzi:

Obviously it’s disappointing when you end up that close to the points. But I think in general it was a strong race.

The opening laps were quite difficult to manage, then the race settled down. I managed to extend the stint quite a lot and it put me in a good position to try and capitalise on something at the end.

When you get the last laps, Safety Car restart, you know things are going to be kicking off. Obviously a few cars went off in front. So it just kind of puts you that much closer.

But I think ultimately we just weren’t quick at the right places on the track today. The car has its inherent weaknesses and we were weak at the places where you needed to be quick to get the DRS. And even with the tyre life advantage we had on the guys in front, I just couldn’t mount a challenge.

So it was definitely frustrating. I was feeling I just didn’t have quite enough pace but overall still quite pleased with the race itself, especially after what was probably my worst race of the year last weekend.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

The design of the trophy for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, including a diamond marking the spot where Ayrton Senna died, struck some as an uncomfortable decision:

This is a well-meaning gesture, I know, but we are at risk of letting the loss of Roland Ratzenberger become a footnote on F1 history and in my book that is absolutely not on. Obviously Senna was the star, the legend, the champion of a nation and the champion of so many of our hearts so his loss is naturally remembered by more people, but Ratzenberger was a larger than life character with a back story which is filled with stories dripping in skill, joy, determination and hilarity. He deserves to be remembered better.

Ayrton and Roland were tied together by the tragic events of Imola ’94 and you have to mention both in order to truly mark the events of that fateful weekend. If the sport does not remember both men when gestures like these are made it takes away from the sense of loss everyone felt on 30th April 1994, a loss that Senna felt deeply and which he was clearly reflecting on while sitting in his car before the race. Why else would he carry a small Austrian flag with him in the car on race day?

F1 needs to say the name Roland Ratzenberger whenever it mourns the loss of Ayrton Senna.

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On this day in F1

  • 35 years ago today Ayrton Senna took pole position for the first Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide

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  • 17 comments on “Latifi: Imola an improvement after “worst race of the year” in Portugal”

    1. Make that 35 years since senna’s Adelaide pole. Sadly he was already gone 25 years ago…

    2. “but we are at risk of letting the loss of Roland Ratzenberger become a footnote on F1 history”

      You mean (sadly) that it hasn’t already?

      1. I know, but true F1 fans (like the readers of this site) cannot let him be forgotten.

        1. @geemac To be frank, sad that it is, but Roland is only remembered at all because he died on the same weekend at the same track as one of the sports greatest legends.

          However, these men ultimately passed enjoying a sport and lifestyle they loved.

          There are very many actual unsung heroes who die following a duty to save others, their names never to be known except only to their loved ones…

          1. I disagree… if Senna hadn’t died then Roland would be the last person to die in F1 and he would be remembered. He was greatly overshadowed by Senna’s death. It’s understandable, but it wouldn’t take much for F1 coverage to remember him more actively.

            1. Possibly, until Bianchi, or Villota? etc.

    3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      2nd November 2020, 9:29

      While Stroll has been poor in 2 of the last 5 races, 3 of them are unfair to judge. He had a tyre failure in Tuscany while he was set for a podium. He had an extremely good start in Russia and juding that he managed to overtake about 8 cars on the first lap and got to just behind Perez before Leclerc took him out, he likely will have got Perez too and used his strategy advantage and engine upgrade to good effect. Then he missed the following race due to Illness.

      To be more realistic and fair, I think the points over the past 5 races would be around 44 – 30 and that is still with Stroll having two bad races.

    4. What a superb COTD @geemac! Agree fully.

      1. @thedoctor03 Yes very good. I missed it in the thread.

    5. Looking at the COTD, tbh if Ratzenberger had died any other weekend he’d be even less of a footnote than he may already seem now. Lots of people have died in F1 over the years and being brutally honest we probably speak about Roland more than a bunch of other names because he died the same weekend as Ayrton.

      To say we need to mention Roland any time we mention Ayrton is a reach, sure we lost a good man, character and driver that day but don’t for one minute try to argue that we’d ever be talking about his career now if he’d gone on to have a full career and life in retirement. I think we need to pay respect to his passing as we do all our fallen heroes and interests but to try apply some sort of false equivalency now after the fact seems wrong to me and rather endemic of society’s current need to avoid difficult conversations.

      1. @alec-glen I don’t agree with the first paragraph of your comment (respectfully). It had been 12 years since we lost Ricardo Paletti (the then last driver to die in an F1 race) and 8 years since we lost Elio de Angelis (the then last driver to die in an F1 car in a test), so the F1 community was shocked by Roland’s death. Had we not lost Senna the next day we would still remember Roland because, to quote a lot of people who have commented on the aftermath of his death, “people don’t die in F1 cars anymore”.

        In respect of the second point, I see your point but again I respectfully have to disagree. The trophy which was made was marking the spot Senna died at Imola – but we lost two people at Imola in 1994 and the track was changed at the site of both accidents as a result. I do not think it was right to mark one and not the other and judging by the comments in the original article on this topic, so do many others.

        1. I would additionally say the events need an even wider scope of memory, because as you say this weekend changed the way we thought about the sport and safety broadly. Also remember the harrowing accident with Barrichello that weekend–it still seems we narrowly avoided three deaths. The combination of all three accidents made that entire weekend was one of the major inflections in the history of the sport, not just because of Senna.

    6. Re the COTD ; It has to be mentioned that Max Mosley at the time decided to go to Roland’s funeral in Austria because he thought that everyone is going to Ayrton’s funeral in Sao Paulo which was unfair to Roland and his family.

    7. Totally on board with COTD.

      When I saw what they had done to the trophy I felt it was a touch tacky. You pointing this out @GeeMac makes it more like an insult.

    8. Not like Seb was rejoining the track in the top 10, massive blunder regardless.
      Ham might have come out ahead of bottas or between Max but there is also the time loss on the first half a lap. watching the race almost nobody effectively defended position on pit exit.

    9. Everyone hates P11.

    10. Spot on COTD. Always thought that Roland should get an equal mention, he too paid the ultimate price for the pursuit of his passion. Well done!

    Comments are closed.