Nicholas Latifi apologises for crash which took away Lewis Hamilton’s historic F1 world title

The domino effect of that moment was seismic

Lawrence Ostlere
Monday 13 December 2021 15:46
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Nicholas Latifi has apologised for the innocuous crash which changed the course of Formula 1 history.

Latifi slammed into the barriers at a narrow part of the Abu Dhabi circuit which caused the safety car to take to the track with five laps remaining.

The domino effect of that moment was seismic, and ultimately saw Lewis Hamilton’s near-certain title victory – a record eighth drivers’ championship – snatched away as Max Verstappen caught up and then overtook in dramatic circumstances on the final lap to instead clinch his maiden triumph.

Latifi said afterwards that his crash was caused by dirt on his tyres.

“It was a tough race out there today and we were struggling for pace throughout,” he explained. “Towards the end of the grand prix I was racing with Mick Schumacher and was forced slightly wide, but fairly, at turn nine.

“My tyres got dirty from running off track and I subsequently made a small mistake and unfortunately crashed. This obviously wasn’t how I wanted to end our season, so it’s disappointing.”

Latifi said he was sorry for disrupting the race.

“We were just really struggling for grip through the next sequence of corners, and especially where I ended up going off. It’s been a tricky corner all weekend for me, so dirty tyres, dirty air and I made a mistake.

“I wasn’t aware of the situation of the race up until then. Obviously it was never my intention to inadvertently influence that, but I made a mistake and ruined my own race. It was never my intention and I can only apologise for influencing and creating an opportunity.”

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