Latifi Shut Down By Williams F1 Engineer for Suggesting Team Orders on Russell

Published 11/21/2021, 1:24 PM 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


It wasn’t the best race for the Williams drivers as a last-minute calamity struck the Wantage team. Especially disastrous for Nicholas Latifi, who had a miserable last laps ending with a DNF. However, problems may have started earlier for the Canadian who had a tough time with the race engineer.

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Because Valtteri Bottas incurred major damage to his W12, it allowed the backmarkers to make up positions. Expectedly, his wobbling run to the pits with the added change of the nose of the car, Bottas came out of the pits in 14th.

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As a result, Nicholas Latifi hoped for a better finish. In P17th at the moment, his teammate George Russell was ahead of him. However, as Latifi tried putting forward the possibility of a better race result for him, his radio engineer cut him off.

“If they’re going to come out behind us, better to save the tire. But if it’s in the pit window, I can push now.” In response to this, he was asked to keep his radio clear. However, having moved to P15, Latifi was persistent. “If I can get by George, it’s now.” The voice on the other side exclaimed, “No! Do not! No! So that’s a hard no, mate.”

Given a couple more instructions, Latifi was defeated in his attempt for team orders. Getting the last word in, he said, “I was only going to try one lap anyways… you have to make it clear before.”

A tough day for Nicholas Latifi and Williams

Two punctures and a DNF- not the grim ending for an already loathsome weekend for the Williams team. The curbs were unforgiving in the circuit as in those final laps, with tire degradation in the mix, the FW43B bore the brunt of it.

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The punctures were unexpected for both the drivers. Latifi commented“When I heard it was the tire, I was like OK, well mine feels fine, I don’t even feel front-left limited. I felt more rear-left limited because I felt as though I had been looking after it. But obviously the last few laps, just pushing flat out to keep the Alfas behind.”

Russell added, “No warning, but we actually anticipated that prior to the race. It was literally just the outside shoulder of that front-left that was a limitation, probably a 10cm on the outside of the front left, and it would literally just go at some point if we kept pushing it.”

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As Williams Racing sits down for a heavy de-brief, the team has two more rounds to bring back the glory of their initial run in the season. With another new circuit ahead of them, the team will now be better prepared for the unexpected.

Watch this story: Most Controversial Turkish GP Moments of All-Time Feat Vettel-Webber F1 Crash

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Shreya Sanjeev

633 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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