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Latifi was "trying to survive" in 'worst visibility ever' at Imola

Latifi was "trying to survive" in 'worst visibility ever' at Imola

F1 News

Latifi was "trying to survive" in 'worst visibility ever' at Imola

Latifi was "trying to survive" in 'worst visibility ever' at Imola

Nicholas Latifi has likened driving his Williams during the first lap of F1's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to "trying to survive" before crashing out.

Canadian Latifi had started from a career-best 14th on the grid on a weekend where Williams looked to have an opportunity to break its ongoing points drought, only for two errors on the opening lap to bury his chances.

In treacherous conditions, Latifi spun at Acque Minerale before colliding with Nikita Mazepin's Haas upon returning to the circuit, which sent him crashing into a barrier.

"It was obviously my highest starting position in F1, and it was nice to be in amongst it," said Latifi, who was surrounded by three former world champions in Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen on the grid.

"It would have been nice to see the cars around me and say 'Oh, it's that person and that person'.

"I was getting the occasional flash of red lights saying 'there's a car here you don't want to crash into' but to be honest when the lights went out you weren't looking around you.

"It was about trying to survive on the first lap if possible. You couldn't see anything. I am not too pleased."

Conditions at Imola were so tricky as heavy rain fell between Tamburello and Acque Minerale, with half of the circuit relatively dry whilst the affected sector was in need of extreme wet tyres.

Even with the majority of the field on intermediate tyres to cope with the different surface conditions, vision was still hampered, with Latifi describing visibility as "extremely poor".

"[It was] probably the worst I have ever had at the start of a race," he added. "It was absolutely impossible to see.

"The first off I had, I just got a bit of rear locking so was off the track at the bottom of Acque Minerali.

"When I came back on, I stayed to the left-hand side as much as I could. I thought Vettel was the last car as I saw Vettel go by me and there was a gap.

"To be honest, I didn't even see Nikita through the spray and looking back at the video, he would have been in my blind spot anyway.

"I was not aware he was there so up until after the incident, I thought I had just got a bit of wheelspin and gone off. I was not aware I had got contact with Nikita until quite a while afterwards. Very frustrating, unfortunate.

"We knew there would be some opportunities for us with the difficult conditions and I am frustrated with myself because I didn't get to participate in the race and see what could have been possible. That's how racing goes sometimes."

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