Nicholas Latifi admitted that he “overstepped the limit” after a heavy crash during FP1 at the Russian Grand Prix.
The opening practice session of the weekend was red flagged with Latifi putting his Williams into the barrier. “I crashed,” he said.
He ran a bit too wide at Turn 10, lost the back end of his Williams and hit the barrier with the rear of the car before slamming back into it with the left side of the FW43.
Thankfully the Williams crew were able to get the Canadian racer ready for FP2 where he went on to finish P15 ahead of team-mate George Russell in P16, a solid effort considering Williams weren’t expecting the Sochi Autodrom to suit the FW43.
“I overstepped the limit in FP1. The track was very green, very dusty, which is kind of a characteristic of this track for the first session,” Latifi told the Williams website.
“I was the one that went off the fastest and had the biggest shunt sadly. It is just unfortunate as it left my boys a lot of work to do to get the car back out there. They did a great job and we were still able to complete most of the FP2 programme, so a big thanks to them.
“FP2 felt much better and even with the missed track time I felt comfortable with the car. The qualifying simulations and the race runs looked promising which has given us some interesting data to look over going into tomorrow.”
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) September 25, 2020
Russell admitted that he was already looking towards the race on Sunday for his car setup, saying qualifying isn’t as important at Sochi as some of the other venues on the calendar.
“Today we were trying out some different things on the car to see how the tyres would react, as that is something that we need to work on to get some more pace on race day,” he explained.
“We were therefore looking at how much our qualifying performance would be compromised in order to help us more on Sunday. We don’t know the outcome yet but as it’s a very long run into turn two, it’s potentially less important where you qualify at this circuit as so much can happen going into that first corner and the tyre behaviour is often a bit unpredictable.”