Nicholas Latifi to serve punishment for Zhou Guanyu crash at Japanese GP

Nicholas Latifi and Zhou Guanyu crashed early on at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The FIA have given Williams’ Nicholas Latifi a five-place grid drop for the Japanese Grand Prix after his crash with Zhou Guanyu in Singapore on Sunday.

The Canadian qualified 20th and last behind team-mate Alex Albon, who out-qualified Latifi on his first race back from appendicitis.

Latifi was running towards the back with Zhou, who had lost ground off the start, and the Chinese driver was attempting to get past on the outside.

As the two drivers approached Turn Five, Latifi appeared to be unaware that the Alfa Romeo driver was on his left, so he came all the way across and squeezed Zhou into the barrier.

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Zhou suffered suspension damage as a result, and Latifi picked up a left rear puncture on his Williams.

The 23-year-old stopped just off the track, and a lot of debris had been left on the entrance to Turn Five, extracting the first Safety Car of the evening.

Latifi eventually made it back to the pits, but the team found that he had picked up too much damage to his left rear, so they were forced to retire him.

It got worse for the 27-year-old after the race; the stewards deemed that he was at fault, so he will receive a five-place drop in Suzuka this weekend.

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Albon would later lock up into Turn Eight as he crashed into the wall, and while he was able to reverse out minus his front wing, he too had picked up extensive damage, so he joined the list of non-finishers.

Zhou’s team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, climbed up to 11th, but was unable to take the final point away from AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, as the Finn’s scoreless run extends to eight races.

The other AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda crashed as he too retired, while Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon both suffered reliability failures in their Alpine cars.