Nicholas Latifi agrees that in hindsight he could have given more space to Zhou Guanyu after their F1 Singapore GP clash.

After a delayed start to F1 Singapore GP, the first ‘crash’ moment came at the hands of Williams’ Latifi and Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu when the duo collided at the right-hander which ended both their races immediately bringing out the safety car.

The duo were fighting for track position as Guanyu made an attempt to pass Latifi. It went from a left-hander to right where the Canadian had the inside line. But in his defence, he kept moving to his left which pushed the Chinese driver into the wall eventually.

Both suffered damage, where Guanyu stopped immediately but Latifi carried on for few corners before coming to halt. The Canadian was adjudged to be the guilty party by the stewards and was handed a 5-place grid drop for Japanese GP.

“The Stewards reviewed the video evidence and determined that LAT was predominantly to blame for the collision. ZHO was attempting to overtake LAT on a straight approaching turn 5 and had sufficient room, taking the normal racing line. LAT pulled to the left, not leaving one car width to ZHO and resulting in significant contact between the cars,” said the stewards.

In hindsight, Latifi agreed that he could have left more space for Guanyu as he didn’t spot him on his left. “From the previous corner I had looked in the mirrors to see where Zhou Guanyu was,” he said. “I didn’t see he was there, so I took my normal approach for the racing line on the following corner.

“I don’t know if he was in a blind spot of the car where the mirror can’t pick up. Unfortunately, he was there and in hindsight I needed to leave more room, but I can only go off what I can see in the mirrors. The aim was to see the chequered flag and learn from the experience with it being my first race here, however the incident caused suspension damage which forced us to retire the car,” summed up Latifi.

It was a sorry end to Guanyu’s race as he was involved in yet another incident where he had nothing to do. His rookie season has been plagued by such troubles and it happened when his family was in Singapore to witness him compete in F1.

“It’s disappointing to finish a race with such a crash, there was not much I could do,” said Guanyu. “I was side-by-side with Latifi in turn four, and he decided to fully close the space and put me into the wall. The damage to the suspension was terminal, he got a penalty for this incident but it’s not going to change much for me.

“It was not what we wanted, and it’s especially annoying as I think we had a decent pace. We just move on from today and shift our focus to Suzuka: it’s a new chance for us to do well and I am looking forward to racing on that track.”

In fact, it wasn’t a good day for both Williams and Alfa Romeo drivers where Valtteri Bottas ended up 11th while Alexander Albon also retired. The Thai racer had a spin early on and then went straight on at Turn 8 which damaged his car further to continue.

“It’s a bit frustrating and was difficult out there tonight,” said Albon. “It’s confusing with nothing different from the previous lap, however I just locked up on the front left with the wet making it difficult to predict the brakes.

“Whilst there wasn’t an issue and ultimately it comes down to driver error, the brakes are very tricky in the wet and it’s hard to get them in the right window. We knew coming into Singapore we likely wouldn’t be fighting for points, so whilst it’s difficult, we can look to Japan and come back fighting.”

Here’s crash between Nicholas Latifi and Zhou Guanyu: