Latifi: Avoiding carnage ‘sealed’ points in Hungary

Nicholas Latifi says that steering clear of the commotion and mayhem at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix set up his path to his first top ten finish in F1 and Williams’ first points since 2019.

The Canadian launched his race from P18 on the grid, just one spot behind teammate George Russell.

But the lowly position proved beneficial to the Williams drivers as the carnage at the first corner triggered by Valtteri Bottas had pretty much unfolded by the time they got there.

However, after passing the chaotic scene, Latifi overtook several drivers, including his teammate, and was sixth in the running order when the red flag was deployed.

At the end of the second formation lap, Latifi followed the field into the pits to bolt on a set of slick tyres, eventually re-launching his race in fifth position before running as high as third.

©Williams

“[I’m] super happy, coming into the race, it’s what we could have hoped for but probably not what was realistic,” Latifi said.

“I guess the start sealed it all, just avoiding the carnage, then making the right call, as soon as we pulled away for the restart within two corners I was like ‘yeah it is slicks, we have to pit’.

“I mean it is like if no one else does it and you’re the only one, you give away a good starting place but it was clear, a lot of people pitted also. [I] just focused on my own race.

“I know I didn’t have the pace to stick to the guys in front when I was P3 so made sure I got my tyres to the end, I struggled with them and got hit quite hard.”

  • Read also: F1i’s Driver Ratings for the 2021 Hungarian GP

Latifi’s impeccable drive allowed the Canadian to cross the checkered flag P8, just ahead of Russell, but the pair later moved up a spot in the provisional results following Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification.

“Double points for the team, amazing, P8 in the championship, [it’s the] best we could have hoped for,” Latifi added.

“I haven’t been in the points-scoring positions this year but George has, and as a team we’ve been making improvements from the start of the year to now and have been knocking on the door of those points.

“It’s just so nice to get them and rewarded the team for that. On my side personally extremely satisfied and for the team even more so as they’re working so hard.”

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