Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

‘Tyre marbles from junior series’ caused Latifi’s spin which put Bottas out

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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Nicholas Latifi says his spin during the Belgian Grand Prix, which led to Valtteri Bottas’s retirement from the race, was triggered by tyre marbles left on the track from previous races.

The Williams driver slid into the gravel at Les Combes while fighting for position with Esteban Ocon on the second lap of the race. He said his sudden loss of grip took him by surprise.

“I just got a bit off-line through turn six,” Latifi explained. “I think it was one of the Alpines I was battling with.”

Formula 3, Formula 2 and Porsche Supercup support races were held at Spa-Francorchamps before yesterday’s race. Latifi suspects some discarded rubber from those races was still on the track when the grand prix began.

“There must have been a lot of marbles from, I guess, the junior categories,” he said. “I just understeered right off, kind of like driving in the wet on slick tyres.

“Then I just hit the gravel and it spun the rear around, which caught me by surprise quite a bit, I thought I would just go straight into the gravel and obviously come back on slowly. But it must have just kicked around when I got back onto the Tarmac. Then I spun across the track as a result.”

While Latifi was able to continue, Valtteri Bottas spun into retirement as he came across the Williams.

“I saw a bit of contact between the two cars ahead of me and then just saw Latifi spinning to the left and just tried to avoid it,” the Alfa Romeo driver explained.

“I think I avoided it, just, I don’t think we had contact. But then while that situation was over my trajectory was to the gravel and ended up spinning. I feel like it was out of me hitting Latifi or going into the gravel. Just unlucky, wrong place at the wrong time.”

Having scored in seven of the first nine races, Bottas has now gone five races without taking any points, a trend he is eager to reverse.

“In a way knowing that we have, in the two weeks, still two races, hopefully without penalties and without compromises, I’m just looking forward to having a clean weekend. That’s what we need now.”

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2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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13 comments on “‘Tyre marbles from junior series’ caused Latifi’s spin which put Bottas out”

  1. In my opinion they should drop Latifi now and get some practice time in for their next driver

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      29th August 2022, 12:14

      if there did that, they would lose their cash that will help them with the car for next year. pay drivers for struggling teams are very benificial in some ways more than others.

  2. Which every other driver managed to cope with. Totally out of his depth.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      29th August 2022, 12:13

      Not every driver went that wide as tyre marbles are not on the racing line. He went wide as he was battling with Ocon, but it was his fault. But if you look at the footage, not all the drivers went on the bit of track that latifi is mentioning. It will have been related to the amount of steering input he put in at this section of track.

  3. Nah. Latifi sucks. LOL

  4. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    29th August 2022, 12:35

    Not being to drive a F1 car made Latifi go wide and not just by a little bit on the curb or slightly over it but massively over it. He ran so wide more of his car was above gravel than the curb, no surprise he then spun but like Grossjean some time ago kept his foot on the gas, like any world class driver would do………. NOT!

  5. @mauromori lol what kind of ridiculous PR speak gas lighting is this? Latifi is rubbish and is only racing because billionaire daddy pays tens of millions a year for spoilt son to be a pest on the grid, he’s a less talented stroll or mazepin who themselves have zero talent and is a waste of an F1 seat(mazepin was kicked out of F1 due to world politics and not money..) but racing due to the same circumstances: Megalomaniac Billionaire daddy with spoilt son syndrome.

    I blame the FIA for allowing pay to pay untalented drivers to make up half of the grid, wasn’t the super licence system made more strict to prevent out of their depth drivers like latifi from buying a seat in the first place?!

    why is it illegal in liberty media era F1 to legitimately criticize BAD drivers?

    1. Latifi was a runner-up in F2 while Albon managed only 3rd. But in F1 there’s a big difference between them in Albon’s favour.

      Bigger issue that for some pay drivers it’s more difficult to kick them out. But is there a solution for that?

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      30th August 2022, 8:41

      Latifi is on another level to mazepin. So many forget that last year and the year before in fact, he was several times pretty close to russell on race day, not being far off time wise by the end of the race.

      He has been awful this year admittedly, but many drivers have bad years with cars they are not happy with. If russell is rated at the level he is, then latifi’s performance the last 2 seasons wasn’t awful, and probably is enough to warrant being in f1 given his money is a big part of the team.

      Latifi has shown some level of skill this year, but only really in one race weekend (silverstone) Qualifying 10th was very impressive even without the upgrades. Then off the line he out launched 2 more drivers and got into 8th on merit. Only to have to restart in the grid order later on and undo the work he’d just done. Then his strategy got messed up later on to otherwise I believe he will have got a point or two.

      Basically, i believe that if he is more comfortable with the car, he can just about be an OK performing driver “considering” that he is a pay driver which is important for the team, which is what several here need to realize.

  6. Latifi out – ricciardo in

  7. Give me a break. Look at the onboard video from Bottas. He was on the same line that a bunch of other drivers took through that corner. He went wide (others did not) and ended up with two wheels in the gravel and two wheels on the curbs. He lit up the rears in a panic to get back on track and then spun.

  8. The excuses are getting so creative for Latifi.

  9. Bottas is the new Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen.
    Black cat under his seat !

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