Nicholas Latifi is hugely frustrated with F1 Saudi Arabian GP as both he and Alexander Albon struggle with lack of downforce and balance.
For Williams, it has been a tough start to the 2021 F1 season. Albon joined then alongside Latifi and they seemingly had a good testing at least in terms of laps done but come Bahrain, the lap times didn’t come around. It continued so in Saudi Arabia.
The jury has been out on Latifi for a while and the question has been asked if he has a future in F1 already. Two crashes at the weekend including one in the race which was not dissimilar to that at Abu Dhabi last year has been hard.
The crashes in Saudi Arabia were strange and Latifi admitted that it was frustrating to him. “Unfortunately, I lost the rear going down to the final corner and that ended my race,” he said to TV media. “I took the same line as I have across the weekend, so it was unexpected but obviously both disappointing and frustrating”.
“What we have been finding with this car so far is it has been very unpredictable and the balance has been all over the place and there is no secret there. But as the driver it is my job to try and get the most out of it and drive it. I put it two times in the wall and it’s not what I expect from the level I am at”.
“I made some costly mistakes in the weekend, so it’s an event to learn from for me. Huge apologies to the team for the damage I caused this weekend. It’s just frustrating as we are not starting off the way we want to be. I am struggling a lot with the balance of the car. Its thing to have the pace we are at”.
“I’m just lacking overall downforce and balance wise that car is sometimes all over the place and I am struggling with that right now. I wasn’t racing anybody, I was just driving by myself and the car is still extremely difficult to drive. I’ll go away and reset for Australia,” summed up Latifi in an open exchange.
His statements is certainly stems from irritation and frustration. One can feel for him and the team, but it is a cut throat competition and being in the sport for his third year, these mistakes cost hugely to not only his future but also the team’s.
After the troubles in Bahrain, it was another weekend to forget for Williams, where Albon also retired – even though he was classified 14th. His weekend too was a touch frustrating but almost more fruitful than his teammate’s, as his race ended after an opportunistic move on Lance Stroll which resulted in penalty points and three-place grid drop.
“We were trying to fight our way into the points at the end and I went for the move with Lance,” said Albon. “He made a strong defence and unfortunately, we made contact. We had to retire due to the puncture, but the points were almost there, and we had to go for it”.
“We were lacking downforce and the balance with the car can be tricky but when it’s in the window it’s actually a decent car. At the end of the race we were pretty quick, it’s just about trying to make the car more consistent and predictable,” summed up Albon.
It seems however, that if and when Williams can sort out their issues, they are heading in the right direction. Despite a touch promising pre-season test, the team has found itself in a spot of bother with lack of downforce and balance.
⚠️ SAFETY CAR ⚠️
Latifi has hit the barriers exiting the final corner
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 27, 2022
Here’s video of Alexander Albon and Lance Stroll clash: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2022-saudi-arabian-grand-prix-albon-found-to-blame-for-clash-with-stroll.1728538480607161440.html
Here’s more on Haas’ crash