Zhou Guanyu questioned the awareness of Nicholas Latifi after the Williams driver crashed into him and sent both drivers out of the Singapore Grand Prix.
The duo came together on lap seven as they were going into Turn 5 as Latifi came across and pushed Zhou into the wall. The Alfa Romeo man’s front right tyre broke as he waved his hand in frustration.
Zhou told his race engineer Latifi had “fully squished me into the wall” and that he did not know “what this guy was doing” as his race came to a premature end.
Latifi was able to continue but not for long as he hobbled back to the pits with a puncture only to retire.
The Williams driver explained his error by stating he had not seen Zhou as the two approached the corner.
“I need to see the replay because when I exited for Turn 3 on the left-hand side of my mirror I didn’t see who was there,” the 27-year-old told F1.com. “Obviously in the end, I pulled back to the racing line for the braking zone. I guess he was there but I haven’t seen the replay.
“I just didn’t see who was there because I was so wide he was in a point where the mirrors can’t detect. Then we had a puncture and suspension damage so had to retire the car.”
Onboard view from Zhou of the contact with Latifi
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Zhou questioned this explanation and suggested their earlier battles should have made Latifi aware he was not the only one at that portion of the track.
“I was quite surprised actually because we were side-by-side going into Turn 4,” the 23-year-old said. “The next thing I got, he just fully left-hand-downed me before the corner. I feel it’s unnecessary and he knew I was always going to be there because he missed the apex into Turn 3.”
Zhou was asked if he would speak with Latifi about the collision but stated he thought there was little to gain from doing so.
“There’s not much to talk about,” Zhou said. “It’s more like how the awareness of each driver and when you’re racing here, I know the conditions are tricky, but you still have to always leave a space and expect someone’s there because he was defending all the time, and then why this time he suddenly fully closed the door which is pretty dangerous on my side.”
Zhou’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas managed to finish the race but did so outside of the points in P11.