Latifi frustrated by stewards’ handling of Zhou collision after receiving penalty

2022 Japanese Grand Prix

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Nicholas Latifi says the Singapore Grand Prix stewards should have invited him to explain his collision with Zhou Guanyu last weekend before penalising him for it.

The Williams driver was given a five-place penalty for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix after the stewards ruled he was responsible for the collision which put both drivers out of Sunday’s race.

Although Latifi agreed he caused the collision with Zhou, he is unhappy the stewards did not invite him to explain what happened.

“Watching all the different onboards, I think if you’re going off the rule book, it’s clear,” he said. “He came up alongside me and I didn’t leave him enough space.”

However, Latifi added, “one of the frustrations is that I didn’t have a chance to go to the stewards because they didn’t ever summon me like normally happens when there’s an incident between two drivers.”

That meant there were “things that were maybe not considered” about the collision. “I was taking the same line I was taking every single lap beforehand and I did actually look in my mirrors in both ways,” he pointed out. “You see from the onboard that I glance in both directions.

“But the problem was just because of the difference in lines. He was driving in the blind spot of the mirror the whole way down to the corner. So in that sense, as drivers, we all know there’s massive blind spots in the car. And again, I did look.”

Latifi said Zhou should have realised his rival wouldn’t know where he was. “If he’s driving in a place where I can’t see him when I do make an effort to look, and I just then take my normal line – obviously he ended up being there – but if I can’t see him because he’s driving in a place where he should expect I can’t see him, especially on a street track in the wet, it’s tricky.”

The Williams driver said his penalty would have been easier to accept had there been a discussion with the stewards about the incident. “If I would have got penalised anyway in the end after being able to at least give my side of the story, it doesn’t really make much of a difference, then I would have accepted that,” he said.

“But I guess just not being able to go to the stewards and give my side of the events and give different points that I think weren’t considered that was probably a bit frustrating. Especially when we’re always talking about the consistency amongst decisions and penalties and whatnot.”

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2022 Japanese 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...

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20 comments on “Latifi frustrated by stewards’ handling of Zhou collision after receiving penalty”

  1. With his results, Latifi is a bit of an easy target and maybe he was unlucky there. But there’s still no way around, he was at fault, should have let a car’s width and deserved a penalty…

    1. Would not have been a penalty if he had been driving a big-three car and ran in to a lower-midfield car and ruined their race, say for example Russell on Schumacher.
      In that case Russell didn’t even need to look in his mirrors – the other car was right next to him.
      How was that not a penalty?

  2. They both knew they were racing each other. Zhou was kissing the wall and Latifi turned on him. Yes stewards should have invited him but that would not have changed the outcome

  3. Tommy Scragend
    6th October 2022, 13:15

    Latifi admitted on the radio that he didn’t know Zhou was there. If he’d been looking in his mirrors as he said, he would have known Zhou had been behind him. If he suddenly can’t see him, where did he think he had gone?

    “It’s my fault I hit him but actually it’s his fault for being there because if he hadn’t been there I wouldn’t have hit him” isn’t much of a defence.

    1. Exactly my take on it. Unless he suddenly got abducted by a UFO he was always going to be alongside in that blind spot.

  4. This guy should not only have his F1-license revoked, but his road license too. I know he’s in my blind spot, but I can’t see him so I can pretend he’s not in my blind spot? He should have been callled up by the stewards, but purely for entertainment purposes. Pathetic excuse.

    1. There is a reason why mirrors are going to be very big next year! Still he was racin Zhou and if you don’t see him anymore you should stay straight and in a corner very clear from the wall as there could be a other driver.

  5. That crash was one of, if not the worst piece of driving i have seen in a long time.

    Glad he’s leaving. The quality of the field can only improve without him.

    1. Did you see his little oopsie today in FP2 at Suzuka, he took an early right before the chicane at the end of the lap and said “Not sure what happened there. The car…real strange. Anyways I’m okay.” It’s insane how inept he is.

  6. The stewards should invite him to leave the sport and let his replacement get some much needed hours on the seat.

  7. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    6th October 2022, 14:26

    Maybe if he explains his position he gets a 10 place grid drop. He ruined Zhou’s race but wants a concession of some sort.

  8. What a coincidence, I agree with Latifi. I’m also frustrated by stewards’ handling of the Latifi-Zhou collision! Because a grid penalty is useless, the same as no penalty at all

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th October 2022, 22:20

      It isn’t the same as no penalty at all after you look at his starting positions this year. He’s only started last twice. So if his pattern of usually starting higher than 20th (which he vertually always does), the penalty won’t be “no penalty at all”.

      So many seem to assume that latifi always starts last, when he infact hardly has this season.

  9. They should hand out the penalties rightnafter things like this happen, during the race and not after. With all incidents.

  10. Latifi was obviously at fault for the incident but his criticism of the stewards is entirely fair. There’s a precedent that when 2 drivers have a crash they invite them both to give their views. This should have happened in this case too.
    F1 needs to get on top of these things – it’s easy to think it doesn’t matter as Latifi was at fault whether they talked about it or not but that’s not a reason not to follow their rules. Why can’t f1 just be consistent in its application of rules?

  11. Latifi is beyond embarrassing now and is unquestionably the worst Full time racer in F1 and to add he has to draw more attention to himself complaining about the collision that was 100% his fault.

    Maybe zhou should’ve gave him more room knowing that Latifi is a liability on track similar to when a driver was in close range of Maldonado and had to be extremely cautious or be crashed into (Lewis in Valencia 2012 had first hand experience of crashtors driving skill)..

  12. I really wanted to have a Canuck driver to root for, but Latifi has consistently displayed a lack of awareness that should be a bare minimum for an F1 driver. This episode with Zhou and the debacle at Australia are like the bookends of a poor season. I doubt that he will be missed in F1, but maybe he can do better in a category that requires less workload in the cockpit, like FE or Indycar. I’m sure that his financial backing would be appreciated elsewhere.

  13. And racing fans are frustrated by Latifi’s handling of his car.

  14. I know F1 tech is supposed to filter down to road cars but how about we go the opposite way for once. Blind spot monitoring is on lots of road cars and just a simple bright orange light on each wing mirror to tell drivers there something in their blind spot would do the job. Or go the whole hog and work out how to replicate the overhead view when close to another car, like we have in racing sims.

  15. Even better, they should have invited him to visit SpecSavers.
    He really is SO out of his depth in F1.

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