Latifi Isn’t the Only One Who Unintentionally Cost Hamilton the F1 Title, Alonso Was Victim of a Similar Situation…

Published 12/25/2021, 10:38 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 18, 2021 Williams’ Nicholas Latifi during a press conference Pool via REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic


Williams F1 driver Nicholas Latifi recently put out an emotional statement addressing the online abuse directed towards him following his crash in the Abu Dhabi GP. The Canadian driver crashed out of the race right in the final laps, which changed the course of the Championship.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Latifi’s crash inadvertently helped Max Verstappen win his maiden title. Till that point, Hamilton looked set to clinch his record 8th title. A feat that would statistically make him the greatest F1 driver ever. However, the role of race director after the crash was more crucial in the controversy than the crash itself.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Notably, this incident was not the first of its kind; there have been similar instances before as well. Back in 2010, Fernando Alonso had a similar experience with Russian driver Vitaly Petrov in the Abu Dhabi GP.

Nicholas Latifi is in a similar territory as Vitaly Petrov

Back in 2010, there were four title contenders going into the season decider in Abu Dhabi; Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber were the favorites, and Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton had an outside chance. Back then, not many were betting their bucks on Sebastian Vettel for the win. Championship leader Fernando Alonso was the favorite to win his third title.

However, a botched-up pit-stop strategy left him stranded in the mid-field. Notably, Alonso was the quickest on the track before he pitted. The strategy was to come out ahead of Mark Webber in the Red Bull. He did it successfully and was behind Vitaly Petrov in the Renault with 40-odd laps to go.

On a usual day, it should have been an undemanding job for the Spaniard to get past Petrov. But the Russian’s Renault had such good traction out of the slow corners that Alonso could barely even get close enough to make a move.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton looks dejected after finishing second in the race and the world championship REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Vitaly pitted early in the race under the safety car, like many others, and Renault were not planning to make him to pit again. The Spaniard had to finish 4th to win the championship, which meant getting past Vitaly was an immediate requirement for him. It was the pre-DRS era which certainly made the task more challenging for the Ferrari man.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Towards the end, Vitaly had some tire issues, but he managed to finish ahead of the Spaniard. Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag and waited for Alonso to finish. The Spaniard finished 7th followed by Webber in 8th and Vettel became the youngest world champion, a record he still holds.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Vitaly received a lot of heat after the race, quite like Nicholas Latifi did after the Abu Dhabi debacle for Mercedes. But Alonso had only himself and the team’s strategy to blame in the end.

DIVE DEEPER

British Politician Slams ‘Perverted’ F1 for Lewis Hamilton Outcome

30 days ago

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Rituraj Tripathi

261 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT