SportF1The first F1 driver penalized for the Japanese grid

The first F1 driver penalized for the Japanese grid

On lap seven of the 2022 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo driver Zhou tried to overtake Latifi in a fight for 18th position on the outside of Turn 5, but the Canadian driver sandwiched the Chinese against the wall.

The contact between the two was enough to destroy the car of the Alfa Romeo driver, something that obviously forced him to put an end to his race early.

A few meters later, the Williams driver also hit the barriers as a result of the touch and, although he tried to continue on track with a new front wing, he also had to leave due to the damage caused to his car.

On team radio, Zhou showed his anger at Latifi, saying the Canadian had pushed him into the wall and, after investigation, the FIA stewards agreed with his opinion.

Ultimately, the Marina Bay stewards handed Latifi five grid positions for next week’s Japanese Grand Prix and two penalty points on his super licence, bringing the Canadian to a total of three in the last 12 months.

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

“The stewards reviewed the video evidence and made the decision that LAT (Latifi) was clearly at fault in the collision,” the official statement from the stewards said.

“ZHO (Zhou) was attempting to pass LAT on the straight before turn 5 and had enough room following the normal line. LAT moved to the left, leaving no room for another car and that action caused significant contact between both cars.”

Overall, the Singapore Grand Prix ended up being a weekend to forget for the Williams team, as Alexander Albon also retired after hitting the barriers.

Latifi and Zhou’s was the first of many incidents in a race that was run initially on intermediate tires and later, in the final laps of the session, on dry compounds (medium and soft).

That change of conditions and tires also affected Yuki Tsunoda, from AlphaTauri, who ended up leaving after another personal error, while the two Alpine cars, Fernando Alonso’s and Esteban Ocon’s, also retired due to two breakdowns in the French power unit.

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