Home F1 Safety car punishes only one of Latifi’s frustrations · RaceFans

Safety car punishes only one of Latifi’s frustrations · RaceFans

Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Baku City Circuit, 2021

A frustrated Nicholas latifi took the checkered flag in 13th place last weekend but was relegated to 16th with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty.

His running technician Gaetan Jego apologized for the mistake that led to the penalty and cost Latifi what would have been his best finish of the season so far. The Williams driver was told to “stay out” after the drivers were told to drive through the pit lane for the following period after the Safety Car Max Verstappen crash.

Latifi understandably took this as an instruction not to get into the pit. His team had meant he had to get through the wells but not stop at their box. The managers therefore beat him with the penalty, which was served after the race, which means that 30 seconds were added to his running time.

“On the operational side, there were a few things where we needed to be sharper, so that’s unfortunate,” Latifi assessed after the race. But that was not the only frustration he got in the race: Latifi was also at odds with his team over strategy and had to deal with an engine problem. And like many of his rivals, he was confused by some of the race control calls in response to Verstappen and Lance strollcrashes as these excerpts from his team radio show.

“Is there a safety car?”

Latifi was one of several drivers who were shown Safety Car boards immediately after Stroll’s crash, long before it was deployed:

His We will keep you updated, but major crash from Stroll in general.
Latifi Safety car, Safety car.
His I can not see it.
Latifi I see the Safety Car boards, but I can not see the lights.
His Pit entrance is closed, stay out, pit entrance is closed. Probably a lot of waste at start-finish
Latifi However, is there a safety car? I can not see the lights.
His No, it’s not a safety car, no. So stay positive, the pit entrance is closed.
His So take care of your delta and be careful with start-finish, a lot of dirt. Stroll is on the left side, just pay attention. It’s after turn 20 after the pit entrance. Before pit entrance, correction.
Latifi To remain on the right side, have dirt on the entire left side,
His Okay and make sure to work on your tires. Front axle, for the most part.

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“It will be dangerous to restart here”

After switching from medium to hard tires in the ninth lap, Williams clearly wanted to drive Latifi to the end of the race on a one-stop strategy. But he was worried he would not be able to warm up his tires soon enough after the first restart, urging the team to pit him again.

Williams, however, chose to omit him. Seconds after he noticed “I really hope it does not turn green next time”, he was told that the Safety Car came in. Latifi warned that his team trying to restart on his worn rubber would be “dangerous”.

Latifi If the pit entrance is cleared before we start, we should certainly consider boxing.
His I got the message [unclear] as well.
Latifi I can not hold these tires up. There is no grip.
His Stay out, stay out.
Latifi If it’s clear next time, we should have just stopped.
His Just for info we have Alonso, Giovinazzi, Russell and Schumacher who have pitted.
Latifi I really hope it does not turn green next time.
His As it will be Safety Car this time around, you need to prepare for restart. Schumacher had a problem, he did not rejoin. So the situation is behind you, Alonso, Giovinazzi and Russell, as they have all put it. Alonso on quali, Giovinazzi and Russell on prime.
Latifi So what do we do? It’s going to be dangerous to restart here, I have no temps.
His We stay out and Safety car in this lap. We need to prepare for restart. You’re on the same page [unclear] like all the cars in front of you.
Latifi But I’m in a different car than all of them. That’s ridiculous.
His Yes, Nicky, I know, I know, but just try to put the temperature brakes and tires back on, then you restart this lap, restart this lap.

“HPP and Critical”

Williams fitted fresh Mercedes units to both cars earlier this weekend. George Russell experienced a problem with him during the last exercise and had to switch back to his previous engine.

Latifi encountered an unspecified problem with its power unit during the race and was told to reverse twice per. Workaround to reduce the load on it:

His It’s 10 to go.
His Gap 2.2. When we pull away, it’s a very good turn.
His We have to cool the light to become five and seven, 50 meters in each thank you. Five and seven, 50 meters.
Latifi What is it for?
His HPP and critical.
Latifi Only five and seven?
His Confirm. Only five, seven. It was good.
His So we expect to make this easy cool ride five and turn seven to the end of the race.

“I do not know why they do not put VSC or Safety Car”

When Verstappen crashed with five laps to start, race control waited to insert the safety car until every driver passed the crash scene, including Latifi in 15th place. He was one of several drivers to criticize the decision:

Latifi I do not know why they do not put VSC or Safety Car, it’s fucking dangerous.
His Okay, Safety Car, team delta positive team delta positive.
Latifi We definitely have to box now, no doubt. How many laps?
His So it’s red.
Latifi Okay red flag, race is probably done then.
His So we are red three [unclear] fire.
Latifi Oh, copy, I thought you said red flag.

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“You asked me to keep me out”

When the safety car was deployed, all drivers were told to pass through the pits to avoid the dirt-strewn collision scene. After more confusion on the radio, Latifi did not come in, which led to his punishment:

His Stacked stop, stacked stop. The car in the space is currently 8.5 so safe. You just have to follow your delta. Follow delta, then you are safe. If you have the opportunity to lift at the pit entrance to cool down the car, we would love to.
His And box, box. See the white line and pit limiter.
His Stay out, stay out, stay out, stay out, stay out.
Latifi Okay.
His Through the pit lane, but no pit stop. Through the pit lane, but no pit stop.
Latifi Ah, you asked me to keep me out. Staying out means staying on track.
His Sorry Sorry.
Latifi Did I have to go through the pit lane?
His You had to go through the pit lane, so I think you’ll have to let the car pass, let the car pass.
Latifi Okay.
Latifi Will they pass me or …
His Stand on it, stand by, thank you.
Latifi I do not know who to let go and who not.
His [Unclear] hold the position, hold the position for the moment, thank you.
Latifi Am I still following the delta, or did I cross twice?
His Okay, so you crossed once, you crossed once and still followed the delta.
His So keep heating up on the front axle, keep heating up.
Latifi Box?
His We still need to drive through the pit lane. And that’s red flag, red flag.
Latifi Copy, copy.
His So all cars will go through the pit lane, they will stay in the fast lane. The first car stops at the end of the pit lane and you have to leave a space in front of you and to your right.
Latifi How many laps are left?
His So it’s four to go, four to go. So it would be three to go …
Latifi They certainly will not restart it.
His They probably will not restart this.
His Stop the engine.
Latifi Copy. Just let it be in P1?
His Yes. So at the moment I do not have confirmation, but you turn off P1.
His So they say they will restart. They say they will restart.
His OK, then turn off the engine, P1, and return to P2. Then the race starts again. Restarts. Are there three rounds left? So of course we are under investigation for not using the pit lane.
Latifi Yes, well, I think it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen then.
His Yes, yes, I can only apologize.

“You can drive normally”

There was good news for Latifi before the restart when he was told he no longer had to worry about his engine problem:

His And Nicky I confirm that there would be no management regarding the HPP issue we had, no management, Nicky.
His Nicky, we have eight minutes.
Latifi Radiocheck.
His Radiocheck is loud and clear, can you hear me?
Latifi Yes. Just for the management problem, does that mean the problem is solved or we just want to see how it is?
His I think it’s just that you do not have to worry about it. You can drive normally.
His Copy.

“So with the penalty you are P16”

Latifi took the checkered flag, which at least was more than Russell managed to do after a gearbox problem:

His Checkered flag. Make sure the checkered flag is different.
Latifi Copy.
His Remember that you go in and pick up rubber, go in and pick up rubber.
Latifi Copy.
His So with the penalty you are P16.
Latifi Yes copy.
Latifi Didn’t George take the start?
Latifi Confirm. He could not.
Latifi There is not really any rubber to pick up.
His Copy, understood, that’s fine.
His Classification is Perez, Vettel, Gasly.
Latifi I was only P14 on the way though, right?
His Yes that is correct. Ah, P13 because Hamilton went straight, you were P13.
Latifi Ah, okay, copy.
Latifi took the checkered flag in the 13th but was classified as the last of the runners

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