The Williams Racing Team did not see both their drivers finish the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, Italy in an incident-filled race. The Grove-based team has shown signs of improvement and both drivers qualified well and started in twelfth and fourteenth positions.
But the good grid positions came to nothing as Nicholas Latifi lost control in the damp conditions and crashed out in the first lap. George Russell was in tenth position by the thirteenth lap and the first points of the season was on the cards.
But a rather ill-judged move by Russell to overtake Valtteri Bottas led to a heavy crash on lap 32. Russell’s overtake and his subsequent actions were not well received.
The young Briton defended his race-ending move and said: “I think it was a very unfortunate incident and one that could have been avoided. Valtteri was defending hard, and he is in his right to do so. The track was going left, and he was going straight. In these conditions with one dry line, it only had one outcome. It is frustrating but that is Formula One.”
Nicholas Latifi: “In the end it was not the result we wanted”
Latifi had a good qualification session as he made it into the second qualification session (Q2) and finished in fourteenth position. But the good work was soon undone as he lost control and crashed in the slippery conditions in the first lap of the race.
The Canadian was frustrated with the poor outcome and said: “In the end it was not the result we wanted, so that is frustrating from my side. It was my mistake in tricky conditions, even the laps to the grid were difficult and the spray was the worst I have ever seen it. I had the first spin off from a bit of rear locking and then I re-joined the track.
“I tried to stay on the left-hand side but naturally the driver line takes you back to the right, so I knew I couldn’t just cut back across. I didn’t see Mazepin when I joined the track but looking at the replay, I have seen we made contact and that sent me into the wall. It was an unfortunate end to the weekend as it was my mistake, so I’m really sorry to the team for that.”