Nicholas Latifi denied possible podium finish at Monza
HAVING STARTED IN SIXTH PLACE HAD MADE EARLY PIT STOP AND WAS IN FOURTH PLACE WHEN IT ALL WENT SOUR
Championship leader Nyck DeVries had qualified in fourth place but then was disqualified following a fuel infringement. This meant he had to start form the rear of the grid giving a great opportunity for Canadian Nicholas Latifi to score precious points so to close the gap in the championship race.
It started quite well for Latifi who passed his teammate for fifth place early on. While running on the soft tire, Latifi came to the pits early to put on the harder compound. Rejoining ahead of his teammate, he occupied what was 10th place at the time since not everyone had pitted.
In a battle with UNI-Virtuosi Guanyu Zhou, Latifi got very close to the UNI-Virtuosy driver several times, the fast Monza layout maximizing drafting. On lap 13 of 30, Latifi was to the right of Zhou under braking for a chicane when Zhou moved over to the right as they were about to enter the corner. Latifi being there already, the front wing came in contact with Zhou’s front right tire causing an immediate puncture. Unfortunately, the same happened to Latifi’s front left as his front wing caused the puncture.
Over radio communications, it was clear Latifi was not happy about the move Zhou made under braking. And for good reason as this move was made at the very last minute and Latifi was already being squeezed by Zhou under braking.
Having had to stop by his pit to change the nose and tires, Latifi eventually lost a lap to eventual race winner Carlin driver Nobuharu Matsushita. Second place went to UNI-Virtuosi Luca Ghiotto who past Nyck De Vries in the last couple of laps before the checkered.
Nicholas Latifi finished in 13th place and it is where he will start tomorrow’s race as well. Nick De Vries will be starting in sixth place as the grid is reverse for the top eight finishers.
Image: FIA Formula 2