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Zhou blames Latifi for 'unfortunate' collision that sees both drivers DNF at Singapore GP

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On Lap 6 of the Singapore Grand Prix, fighting over 18th place, Nicholas Latifi and Zhou Guanyu made contact bringing a premature end to both drivers' Sunday at Marina Bay. After the race, the pair gave their version of events…

It was a tough outing for Zhou, who after starting 14th on the grid made a poor getaway that dropped him down to 19th. But as he attempted to make his way back through the field, he collided with Latifi, putting an end to his evening. Reflecting on the incident, Zhou believes there was only one person to blame.

“I was quite surprised actually, because we were side-by-side going into Turn 4, and then the next thing I got was Latifi just fully [hit] me before the corner, which I feel is unnecessary,” said Zhou.

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“He knew I was always going to be there because he missed the apex into Turn 3. Unfortunate to end the race like that and not the result we wanted.”

Asked if he planned to talk to Latifi, Zhou said: “I mean, there’s not much to talk about, I guess. It’s more about the awareness of each driver. When you’re racing here… I know the conditions are tricky, but you still have to aways leave space and expect someone is there. He was defending all the time and then why this time fully just closed the door? It was pretty dangerous.”

Zhou Guanyu: Latifi 'knew I was always going to be there' before crash

The stewards agreed with Zhou’s verdict of the incident, as they deemed Latifi to be at fault for the collision – giving the Canadian a five-place grid penalty that he will serve at the Japanese Grand Prix. Speaking after the race, Latifi admitted he was unaware of Zhou’s presence alongside him.

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“To be honest I need to see the replay. When I exited Turn 3, on the left-hand side of my mirror I didn’t see that he was there,” Latifi confessed. “Obviously in the end when I pulled back to the racing line for the braking zone, I guess he was there, but I haven’t seen the replay yet. I just didn’t see he was there.

“I need to see if he was on the inside and because I was so wide, he was in a point where the mirrors can’t detect [him]. Then we had a puncture and suspension damage, so we retired the car.”

Nicholas Latifi 'just didn't see' Zhou in build up to Singapore GP crash

It was the soon-to-be-departing Williams driver's fourth DNF of the season but first since the French Grand Prix. And when asked how disappointed he was not to finish the race, he said: “Obviously I would have liked to complete all the laps, especially from a personal challenge point of view.

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“Realistically, without a lot of DNFs, there wasn’t really going to be much on the cards. The pace was really tricky to manage in qualifying and especially the race – I was driving around basically with three working brakes as well."

He added: "It was not very pleasant up until the incident, just trying to keep it on the track and avoid going into the run-offs. It’s never nice not to do all the laps.”

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