Grand prix

Has Abu Dhabi 2021 impacted Nicholas Latifi’s F1 form? | F1

Latifi was responsible for causing the controversial Safety Car period at the end of last year’s race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Canadian’s crash resulted in the FIA’s mishandling of the Safety Car and thus cost Lewis Hamilton a record-breaking eighth world title.

As a result, Latifi was abused on social media for the role he played in Abu Dhabi, despite the crash being unintentional.

Latifi continues to race with Williams in 2022 but has struggled considerably.

He has been comprehensively out-performed by teammate Alex Albon and was beaten by Nyck de Vries in his one outing for the team at the Italian Grand Prix.

“We had to keep giving him the confidence. We said that there was nothing wrong,” Capito told the High Performance Podcast. “Everything was fine, but it was very difficult up until then because it was the end of the season.

“He was not around here every single day and also we didn’t interfere too much as we knew what was happening, we knew what was going on.

“He switched his social media off but if we would have interfered too much, I think we would have made the situation worse.

“That’s something everybody has to get over on their own. He was fully aware that he had our backing, that we were absolutely convinced he didn’t do anything wrong.”

Latifi is the only driver on the grid to not have scored a single point in 2022.

“The crash, of course, it shouldn’t have happened but if you’re racing then crashes can happen,” Capito added. “And we never blame a driver for that, it’s possible to crash. Otherwise, you have to stay at home if you don’t want to crash.

“I think that was also a part of why it took him quite a while in the season to find his competitiveness. I’m sure it affected his driving after that. It would have affected my driving a lot, I am absolutely convinced of this.

“So I can understand that and this is why we gave him the confidence and supported him all season and we knew he would come back.”

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