Latifi describes Championship-determining Abu Dhabi GP crash

Nicholas Latifi hit the wall at Turn 14, prompting drama and ultimately Championship glory for Max Verstappen.

Nicholas Latifi speaks about 2021 Abu Dhabi GP crash.v1

When Nicholas Latifi crashed late on in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, chaos ensued. The Safety Car was deployed, Max Verstappen pitted for fresh tyres, and a controversial stewarding decision allowed the Dutchman to pass Sir Lewis Hamilton and win his first F1 championship.

Latifi hit the wall at Turn 14 to prompt the drama, and the Canadian offered an explanation for the Championship-determining incident.

“I went off the track when we were side-by-side [with Mick Schumacher],” said Latifi, as quoted by

“I mean, he kind of forced me off, but I guess it’s fair racing. Nothing too untoward there.

“But when I went off, the tyres were really, really dirty, and obviously that was a really tricky area for us to follow.”

Latifi’s crash also meant that Williams suffered a double non-finish, with George Russell, in his last race with the team, retiring due to a gearbox failure.

The Canadian, unsurprisingly, said he regrets the manner in which his season ended.

“It was absolutely not how I intended to end the season, so apologies to the team for that.”

While Latifi is aware that his crash unleashed a shocking chain of events, he appeared to have little time to share in the humour.

Article continues below

“Not that I had any hope to… I don’t know how the race was unfolding before, but it obviously created an opportunity at the end [for the title contenders], so that was obviously not my intention as well.

“But I’m obviously sorry for my guys and for the team.”

READ: Verstappen: Hamilton doesn’t know how to race like me

In spite of the crash, Latifi is proud of the efforts of both himself and his Williams team, having claimed his first points and made clear improvements to his pace.

“Plenty of positives, but this definitely leaves a sour taste in the mouth,” added Latifi.

The 26-year-old will remain at Williams in 2022 alongside the returning Alex Albon, who spent a year on the side-lines following his departure from Red Bull.

Follow us on Google News to never miss an F1 story