track off-line ‘like driving in the wet on slicks’ – latifi

Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Williams Racing FW44. Belgian Grand Prix, Sunday 28th August 2022. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Nicholas Latifi explained that he was caught by surprise at the lack of grip available off-line at Spa-Francorchamps, as he explained how his Belgian Grand Prix unravelled.

Latifi started from 11th on the grid after being promoted by a raft of engine penalties for rivals and was in the thick of the midfield action through the opening lap.

On the second lap Latifi went wide exiting Les Combes and spun across the track, with Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas taking evasive action but winding up in the gravel trap.

“I went a little off the line in Turn 6, there must have been a lot of marbles from the junior categories and I understeered right off,” he said.

“It felt like driving in the wet on slick tyres. I dipped the wheel in the gravel, and it spun the rear around which caught me by surprise quite a bit.

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“I thought I would go straight into the gravel and come back on slowly, but Instead I spun across the track as a result and made contact with Valtteri.

“My race was compromised from there as that set of tyres we needed to make the two-stop strategy work were damaged.”

While Latifi was able to continue and classify last of the 18 drivers Bottas retired after his Alfa Romeo became beached in the gravel.

“With such a mixed grid there could have been opportunities, but I was just in an unfortunate position, wrong place at the wrong time, I guess,” he said.

“It was a case of either hitting him or go off in avoidance.”

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