Sat. Oct 16th, 2021

Nicholas Latifi says the 30-second time penalty added to his race time in Baku was the result of a “miscommunication” from the Williams pitwall.

Latifi had failed to follow the field and drive through the pits during the caution period that followed Max Verstappen’s heavy crash on Baku’s main straight in the closing stages of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

But the Canadian wasn’t responsible for the oversight, having been wrongly ordered by his team to stay out on the track.

On the radio, Latifi was told “Stay out, stay out, stay out, stay out, stay out!”, before his engineer added “Through the pit lane but no pit stop”.

Unfortunately, despite the mitigating circumstances, race control had no other choice but to hand the Williams charger a ten-second stop and go penalty that was eventually concerted into a 30-second penalty added to his race time.

“Yeah, nothing I could have done there, I got the message to stay out so it was just a miscommunication,” Latifi said.

“That’s how it goes, in the end we were not fighting for points but it’s still nice to not get a penalty!”

Latifi said the mistake denoted a lack preciseness and a few issues to clean up on the operational side at Williams.

“It was a fairly lonely race before the red flag,” said the 25-year-old who was classified P16 at the end of the day.

“We were committing to the one-stop – which was always going to be tricky with our car but that’s what we were committing to – so I think I was doing what I needed to do.

“The plan for George [Russell] was to do the two-stop so I was just trying to manage the tyres and not try to chase him along and just do my own race. In the end it wasn’t to be.

“It’s a shame, I felt I was driving really well this weekend all throughout, but I think on the operational side just a few too many misjudgments, miscommunications and things that didn’t go well so that compromised our weekend I think.”

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