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Nicholas Latifi

Williams reveals factors that led to Latifi's points finish at Suzuka

It was the first time Nicholas Latifi finished in the points in 2022, in what were tricky conditions at Suzuka.

Latifi Japan
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To news overview © XPBimages

The Japanese Grand Prix marked the first time Nicholas Latifi scored points in 2022 with Williams.

The Canadian admitted after the race that scoring the points was a "morale boost" for him, despite the final four races of the season being his last for the team.

Now Latifi's engineer, Ernesto Desiderio, revealed the factors that enabled the team to take advantage of a late pit stop and beat both McLaren's.

Friday wet weather running pivotal

Desiderio believes the teams wet weather knowledge from running in Friday practice was key to them knowing when the conditions would be suited for a switch from full wet tyres to Intermediates.

"Around there, there's a lot of rain. There are rivers coming down the track. But the asphalt is very peculiar," he explained.

"The agglomerate is really thick, and there is a lot of grip, even in the weather condition.

“It was good for us to learn that on Friday and really add that to our bank of information.

"Nicky had the track conditions from Friday really clear in his mind, and that was the key to having in his own mind what the track should be for that tyre."

Early pit stop enabled Latifi to break into top ten

The team say the inspired call to pit early from the full wet tyres to Intermediates shortly after the restart came from Latifi himself.

"We pre-discussed all of this extensively just before restarting the race after the red flag. He knew that if the conditions were in a certain way, there was that possibility to come in.

At that stage only Sebastien Vettel had pitted, who also went on to finish in sixth place having spun and dropped to last at the first start.

"It was just us and Vettel at that point. We had big smiles on our faces because we knew that it was going to help us.

"We lost out on Vettel in the pit lane, but that can happen. It's just that they came in and attacked the box a little bit differently, and they came out just on our side.

"Then, with visibility, it's difficult to fight on the first lap. Nevertheless, it was a great team effort. We managed to do something really good there.

"We undercut a few cars there – seven or eight, I think."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Do F1's rules on championship points in shortened races need modifying?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key issues from the Japanese Grand Prix, including Max Verstappen's dominant run to his second World Championship, and whether F1's current system of awarding points in shortened races needs tweaking.


F1 2022 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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