‘Trickiest the car’s felt all year’ says Latifi after rollercoaster Hungary GP weekend
The Hungarian Grand Prix weekend saw plenty of storylines, but perhaps none quite so eye catching as the pace of Nicholas Latifi in the wet on Saturday. But while he topped the timing sheets in FP3 and even set a fastest first sector in qualifying, come race day, it was back down to earth with a bump for the Canadian.
“Unfortunately, our race was compromised at the start through some front wing damage,” he said afterwards, with onboard footage showing a coming together with Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin into Turn 2 on the opening lap as the two jostled for position. “One side of my front wing endplate was missing the whole thing, that compromised us.
“It wasn't great as the damage set us back with much more tyre degradation than we were hoping for. The wind picked up massively compared to previous days and it’s the trickiest the car’s felt all year so we need to find a way to address that.”
As Latifi came home 18th on a difficult day for the team, Alex Albon didn’t fare much better as he crossed the line just in front of his team mate. The Thai driver also had contact on the opening lap, losing enough of his front wing in a clash with Lance Stroll around Turn 2 to warrant both a pit stop and a Virtual Safety Car to clear up the debris.
“We were a bit out of sequence with the early damage and there was a lot of tyre degradation and pit stops, which didn’t make it easy,” he said. “It’s been a tricky weekend for us, but it has been a good learning weekend, continuing to understand the strengths and the weaknesses of the new package.”
Albon has three points to show for his first half of the season, counting himself “pretty happy” with how things have gone in his first season back racing after a one-year hiatus on the side lines. The good news for the team is undoubtedly their pace in the wet, and with Spa often offering up inclement weather, there could be opportunities on the horizon after the summer break.