Nicholas Latifi has explained what caused the crash that ultimately led to the title-deciding dramatic final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Williams driver had been battling with the Haas of Mick Schumacher before losing control of his car at Turn 14 and hitting the barrier with five laps remaining in the race. This led to the Safety Car being deployed.
It was then brought back into the pits with one lap left, resulting in a showdown between championship contenders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen got ahead and won the race, and with it he became the 2021 F1 World Champion.
Latifi has since detailed what was behind the initial accident.
"I went off the track when we were side-by-side [with the Haas]," Latifi said. "I mean, he kind of forced me off, but I guess it's fair racing. Nothing too untoward there.
"But when I went off, the tyres were really, really dirty, and obviously that was a really tricky area for us to follow."
Not the "intended" way to end the season
Latifi is disappointed to have ended the season with a crash. Williams teammate George Russell had earlier been forced to retire from the race with a mechanical issue, so it was a double DNF for the Grove-based squad.
"It was absolutely not how I intended to end the season," Latifi explained. "So apologies to the team for that.
"Not that I had any hope to... I don't know how the race was unfolding before, but it obviously created an opportunity at the end [for the title contenders], so that was obviously not my intention as well.
"But I'm obviously sorry for my guys and for the team."
Despite this, Latifi admits there have been some positives to take away from this year, having scored his first points in F1.
"Plenty of positives, but this definitely leaves a sour taste in the mouth," he said of his season-ending crash.
"It's not what I was hoping for at all, so [I'm] just very disappointed."
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