Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Istanbul Park, 2020

“I just literally couldn’t do a lap” – Latifi

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In the round-up: Nicholas Latifi says conditions were so difficult in qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix that he was unable to complete a single clean lap.

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What they say

Latifi was not the only driver to struggle in what a number of drivers described as the most challenging conditions they had ever experienced during qualifying. But after the Williams driver spun out of Q1 on the exit of turn eight, Latifi says he struggled to complete a single representative time in the conditions, having lapped over eight seconds slower than anyone else in Q1.

Obviously it’s tricky for everybody. I just literally couldn’t do a lap. I mean, the only lap I did was just before it got red flagged the first time. So there was clearly way too much water on track.

It is what it is. I mean, tomorrow anything could happen and that’s what the focus is going to be.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

An incident in qualifying where cars were released onto the circuit at the start of Q2 while a crane was still on circuit recovering Latifi’s Williams prompted many concerned comments:

This infuriates me. Jules Bianchi was killed by a tractor on the track in the rain. There should be zero risk taken in these situations. Who cares if the session starts a minute later?

We had marshals on the track last week and now this. Let’s not get complacent.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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25 comments on ““I just literally couldn’t do a lap” – Latifi”

  1. Switzerland’s Simona De Silvestro showed that women can absolutely compete with the boys

    Yet despite this she never got a drive in a decent team, which is all she wanted and proved she had the skill for. Come on Skaifey, bit of hipocrosy. With the clout he has, he could have made it happen.

    1. Don’t forget that she was brought into the series by V8 Supercars administration predominantly because she’s female and a great piece of marketing, not because she was the best person available for the team. She wouldn’t have been there otherwise.

      1. S, is it? In IndyCar, both the male and female drivers suggested that, contrary to what most fans seemed to think, the sponsors didn’t actually back female drivers any more than male drivers. If anything, both female and male drivers in IndyCar thought that companies might have been more willing to talk about female drivers for the media attention, but tended to be less likely to actually stump up any cash to sponsor them.

    2. @skipgamer Unfortunately Simona didn’t have the funding to get a race seat at the time she was there. Had she been 10 years older or younger, I think she’d have made it onto the grid.

    3. @skipgamer How to pick an Aussie 101: they refer to another Aussie using a nickname 😂

      Hollow words from Skaifey.

  2. COTD is the main takeaway from this weekend regardless of the results. Never again should a tractor be on a race track at the same time as the cars. Yellow flags just aren’t good enough and this lesson has already been learnt for too high a price. Someone needs to be disciplined for that happening, brushing it away isn’t good enough.

    1. Yellow flags would be good enough if the drivers respected them.
      The culture of respecting the rules in F1 needs to change. If double yellows means slow down and be prepared to stop, then that is what drivers must do. Not just lift a little.

      From Race Control’s side of things – they really need to sort out their communication better.

      1. S, unfortunately that’s not the totality of what yellow flags mean in F1, and hasn’t for some time. At one point, there were 6 different things a yellow flag meant in F1, which under certain circumstances could clash with one another. At least 3 of them are still extant in today’s regulations.

        The regulations apparently don’t know what a yellow flag means. At which point, the drivers, marshals and stewards don’t stand a chance of getting this sorted in a sensible way.

      2. Even if the drivers did lift off for the yellow flags, when it is this wet it is still possible for someone to aquaplane off the track and hit the tractor. We also can’t rely on the drivers respecting the yellow flags anyway, or even seeing them when it is misty like it was in qualifying. Bianchi’s death happened in very similar circumstances to the conditions in qualifying yesterday, and again yellow flags were not enough to ensure the drivers’ safety in that situation.

        1. They’ve also got an in-car system for notifying them of yellows. There’s no excuse that they didn’t see them.
          Bianchi’s death also occurred due to a lack of respect for the yellows. Had he slowed down (as the rules state that he must) he wouldn’t have flown off the circuit.

          I’m not saying that additional caution shouldn’t be taken to remove the chance of such things happening, but ultimately the drivers need to respect the rules that are there to protect both themselves and the track workers supporting them.

          1. S, but, in this situation, you cannot deny that race control could have avoided the situation entirely by not restarting the session when it did – if the cars were not sent out onto the circuit until it was definitely clear, this issue would not have arisen in the first place and you wouldn’t have needed a yellow flag to begin with.

            That is what the COTD is getting at, and which other posters are also getting at – if race control had simply said there would be a short delay before starting Q2 to ensure Latifi’s car was cleared, it’s unlikely to have raised many complaints and would have removed the hazard entirely.

            That is the key point – arguing about yellow flag rules is to largely miss the point, as Masi has already failed at your job. If you have an option to eliminate a hazard entirely with a simple action and proceed to ignore it in favour of a riskier method, under the health and safety laws in most countries, your actions would be considered negligent – using yellow flags in that situation should be the last resort, not the first.

    2. Yeah, it really is infuriating how this kind of things are still possible. Especially after a string of things like this happening in the last few races, it really points to how much the FIA race control and marshalling desicions badly need to be brought up to par.

  3. Mercedes should have brought last year’s car.

  4. The whole double yellow flags needs to be reviewed. For once K Mag made some sense when he complained about them.

    He slowed down when the marshals were attending to Latifi’s car, but others didn’t, meaning he was put out of qualifying but they got through. Even if they were penalised later, it’s still an incentive to ignore the flags.

    Surely a much easier solution is, if you see double yellows then your lap is lost, and if you ignore them, you get disqualified. Or at least start at the back, a 5 place penalty is a joke for such a serious offence.

    It can’t be that hard for the stewards to determine who slows or not, they were deleting lap times for track limits within a minute of it happening.

    1. I like your solution. Removes all ambiguity and pushing the safety limits desires. I’d even consider losing your fastest lap if you cause a yellow to avoid schumacher monaco 2006 or rosberg 2014 kind of situations.

      1. @socksolid, @tambeau, I’d be okay with just autodeleting the lap, like with tracklimits, agree that clearly it needs a more automatic penalty

        1. @bosyber Agree. Any car passing a double waved yellow in qualifying has the time deleted. Very simple.

      2. Yeah, something that completely unambiguous / clear and being a certain deterrent needs to be put in place @socksolid, @balue, @bosyber, @tambeau

    2. @tambeau The others did heed for the double yellows as well.

      1. If the other drivers had heeded them, they would have set very slow lap times and been knocked out with magnussen. The days are back when a token lift is somehow seen as acknowledging the flag. The sport got complacent about this before and jules bianchi lost his life. It needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

  5. If there was a female driver out there quicker than Max Verstappen she would be snapped up by a big team tomorrow.

    1. That female driver would not even need to be as good as someone like ericsson and the teams would be fighting for her. If you look what kind of opportunities back of the field and, at best, middle of the field f3 female drivers have got then it is clear it will happen as soon as there is such driver available.

      Just look at calderon who has had multiple f1 tests despite being a below average even by f3 standards. Carmen jordan made it to being an official f1 test driver. Susie wolff got to drive in official f1 session despite not being able to win in any category and her average championship finishing position being something like 15th. Even the brightest female racing star in europe has just one win from british f3 (not f3 world series) in a reverse grid race with the average finish of 7th in british championship. Good enough for f1? Good enough for formula w for sure.

      I hope there is a good strong female driver coming up the ranks somewhere. I hope there is someone who can be in f1 at some point with genuine winning race record at all levels of motorsports. I see no real reason why it could not happen. But no such driver seems to exist yet. Are there women good enough to be in f1 because of their good looks and marketing potential? Yes. Will such… I mean who is next such drive to get her f1 experience?

      1. There is no discrimination. A young black man debuted in the fastest car on the grid in 2007.

  6. Both paydrivers were on the headlines today. Other doing an amazing lap to be on a pole. The other one couldn’t even do a whole lap. This just shows that there are good and bad drivers in this category. Of course car makes a lot of difference but when they both came to F1 they were treated the same

  7. Re COTD: True. After all quali excitements passed, the one that stick is that countdown already starred in upper left tv corner while the tractor still there.

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