Last weekend Formula 1 returned to Singapore after a two-year forced break because of the pandemic for what turned out to be an action – and drama – packed Sunday.
An unfortunate race for Williams that closed the day with a double DNF. Particularly Latifi was forced to retire after a collision with Guanyu Zhou. The Canadian was left with suspension damage following the contact he was judged predominantly responsible for.
“When I went to the media pen afterwards I had obviously not seen the incident, so it's difficult to comment on,” said Latifi during Thursday’s FIA press conference in Japan.
“At the end watching all the different on-boards, I think, if you're going off the rulebook, I mean, it's clear he came up alongside me, and I didn't leave him enough space.”
Two penalty points and a five-place penalty for the Japanese weekend that were given to the Williams’ driver directly during the race. Despite both drivers involved having retired after the collision, in fact, neither was called to the stewards to discuss what happened.
A way to manage things that was not appreciated by Latifi, who wanted to have the chance to share his view on the incident.
“I think the things that were maybe not considered, which is as well, maybe one of the frustrations that I didn't have a chance to go to the stewards, because they didn't ever summon me, like normally happens when there's an incident between two drivers.”
Describing the collision with the Alfa Romeo at Marina Bay, he mentioned the role a blind spot in the mirrors that played a part in what happened.
“I was taking the same line I was taking every single lap beforehand and I did actually look into my mirrors, both ways. You see from the onboard that I glanced in both directions but the problem was, just because of the difference in lines, he was driving in the blind spot of the mirror the whole way down to the corner.”
“So, in that sense, as drivers we all know there's a massive blind spot in the car. And again, I did look, so if he's driving in a place where I can't see him, when I do make an effort to look and I just then take my normal line, it's, yeah… obviously, he ended up being there.”
“But if I can't see him because he's driving in a place where he should expect I can't see him, especially on a street track in the wet so it's tricky.”
“If I would have got penalised anyways, in the end, after being able to at least give my side of the story - I know, doesn't really make much of a difference - I would have accepted that,” he continued.
“But I guess just not being able to go to the stewards and give my side of the events and give different points that I think weren’t considered, that was probably a bit frustrating. Especially when we're always talking about the consistency amongst decisions and penalties and whatnot.”