Nicholas Latifi has revealed about the idea of not racing F1 Spanish GP due to tonsillitis, as he explains the messy Portuguese GP weekend.
In his season-ending column, Williams’ Latifi revealed his suffering from tonsillitis during the F1 Spanish GP weekend, which he initially thought was COVID-19. He had mild fever which prompted multiple RT-PCR tests, but all of them returned negative.
It was then understood that he had suffered from tonsillitis. Latifi almost pulled out of the weekend but he eventually raced to finish 18th. “My second frown came in Barcelona where I suffered with tonsillitis,” he wrote. Initially, I was worried I had Covid because I had a mild fever. But after many, many negative tests that was ruled out.
“I felt terrible all weekend. My body was aching and I almost didn’t do the race. But I was determined to start, so we agreed I would race and I’d return to the pits if my symptoms got any worse. Thankfully, as the race progressed I felt a bit better, although my throat was in agony – like a 9 out of 10 pain every time I had to swallow. But I was pleased I still climbed into the car and complete the weekend,” summed up Latifi.
As the Canadian noted, this was his second frown moment from the 2020 F1 season, as his first was the Portuguese GP weekend, where he explained how some changes on his car and a subsequent revert to old package derailed and messed up his qualifying and race.
Latifi noted that they brought some changes just on his car but it didn’t work out, which forced them to revert to a spare chassis. The spare they had was of his teammate George Russell and so the lack of time to adjust to it, cost him dearly.
“From a driving point of view, the most difficult was Portugal,” wrote Latifi. “I arrived there with a different car package, not necessarily an upgrade, but a few chassis modifications we hoped would improve some areas. In fact, it wasn’t a step at all. The changes were on my car only, and I was stuck with them for all of Friday’s running.
“Unable to get any references, the day was effectively a write off – although we did at least understand more about what didn’t work. For Saturday, we reverted back to the standard package, and the car was rebuilt around the team’s back-up chassis. There wasn’t much time to learn how this behaved around this new and technical track, and I didn’t manage to put everything together in qualifying. Things just weren’t clicking.
“To make matters worse, the back-up chassis was one of George’s – and had his personal seat belt positions. Because I’m taller, this made it an extremely painful race from about lap 20. All combined, it was probably my worst weekend – and certainly not enjoyable,” summed up Latifi, having finished 20th in the grand prix.
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