Nicholas Latifi’s crash in the closing laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix led to a safety car that allowed Max Verstappen to overtake Lewis Hamilton to seize the championship title from him. While the FIA was full of criticism for the way in which they managed the Safety Car, the Canadian pilot received a wave of threats and insults through his social networks, even admitting that he had to hire private security to walk down the street.
That episode continues to generate debate about the state of Williams’ form, and it is that some indicate that the incident has caused Latifi not to have the necessary confidence to exploit the full potential of the FW44.
Grove team principal Jost Capito spoke on the High Performance podcast, noting that the driver “didn’t do anything wrong” in the race that decided the world championship.
“We had to continue to give Nicholas [Latifi] confidence,” Williams’ boss said. “We said he didn’t do anything wrong, everything was fine, but until then it was very difficult because the season was coming to an end. He wasn’t here every day and we didn’t interfere too much because we knew what he was going through.”
“He turned off his social networks, but I think we would have made the situation worse if we had intervened too much,” he explained. “It is something that everyone has to overcome, he knew that we supported him and that we were convinced that he had done nothing wrong. The accident should not have happened, but it can happen.”
This season, Latifi has not scored any points, and he is the only starting driver who has not, even a substitute like Nyck de Vries , who had two units at Monza in the same car as the Canadian. His teammate, Alexander Albon, enjoys four points, and the most worrying thing is that the Toronto man has 26 races outside the area that gives a loot in Formula 1.
“We never blame the driver for crashing, because they can happen, and if you don’t want that, you better stay home. I also think this is one of the obvious reasons why he struggled to find his level this season, I’m sure it affected his driving,” revealed Capito.
“So I can understand him, and that’s why we gave him the confidence and supported him throughout the year, we knew he would come back,” concluded the head of the Williams team, who seem to have de Vries and Logan Sargeant on the list of replacements for Latifi.
Do you want to read our news before anyone else and for free? Follow us here on our Telegram channel and you won’t miss a thing. All the information, at your fingertips!