Latifi felt Baku grid infringement penalty was too harsh

Jamie Woodhouse
Nicholas Latifi climbs into the Williams FW44. Azerbaijan, June 2022.

Nicholas Latifi climbs into the cockpit of the Williams FW44 on the Baku grid. Azerbaijan, June 2022.

Nicholas Latifi received a 10-second stop-go penalty at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – a decision he criticised.

The Williams driver had slightly overshot his grid box in Baku, so a Williams crew member kindly wheeled him back into position. The problem was he did that after all personnel had been required to be clear of the grid.

Early in the race, the stewards landed one of their heaviest available punches, a 10-second stop-go penalty that forced Latifi to come into the pit lane and stop in his pit box for 10 seconds before being released with no work allowed to be done on the car.

With that sanction imposed, it was of course curtains for Latifi’s chances of scoring a strong result, the Canadian left feeling very hard done by.

“It’s unfortunate the penalty undid everything before it had even started,” he told reporters post-race.

“I feel like there should be some leniency applied for what the infringement was as I was just pushed back, and nothing was changed to the car.”

Latifi crossed the line P15 and last of the finishers, also hit with a five-second time penalty later in the race for ignoring blue flags.

“It was tricky being so far off from the pack, then the cycle of blue flags and getting caught by the leaders very early on,” he continued.

“The race ended up being a very long and lonely one. We managed to get more mileage and laps with the car, but overall a challenging weekend on this track.”

It has certainly been a difficult season so far for Latifi, yet to score a point and regularly outperformed by his new team-mate Alex Albon.

He is desperately in need of a boost, so could his upcoming home race be just what Latifi is after?

With Baku 2022 now in the history books, Formula 1 heads straight to Montreal as the Canadian Grand Prix returns to the calendar, the global pandemic having caused the cancellations of the 2020 and 2021 stagings.

Latifi is very much looking forward to racing on home soil for the first time as a Formula 1 driver.

“A day to forget, but excited to be heading straight to Canada for my first home race,” said Latifi in conclusion.