Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly were engaged in a battle four P4 at the Azerbaijan GP when they came across Nicholas Latifi.
Latifi was driving arguably the slowest car on the grid. Williams haven’t had a great 2022 and Latifi in particular has massively struggled. In Baku last week, he finished 15th but also got a five-second time penalty.
This penalty was due to him ignoring multiple blue flags while Gasly was behind, about to lap him. Latifi was shown the blue flag at turn seven, but he let the AlphaTauri driver pass at the end of the main straight which cost him some time to Hamilton behind him.
FIA gives Latifi 5 seconds for ignoring blue flags… where was the penalty on Albon for ignoring 16 blue flags in Monaco?
Where’s the consistency? #AzerbaijanGP
— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino) June 12, 2022
After the race however, Latifi revealed that he was only trying to help Gasly. Gasly was in an AlphaTauri, so holding Hamilton’s Mercedes off would have been tough for him. As a result, the Canadian driver wanted to give the former DRS, so that he could build a gap to Hamilton.
However, Latifi insisted that his intention was only to try something that would benefit both himself and Gasly. That is why he till the final sector to let Gasly pass.
Nicholas Latifi influencing a Lewis Hamilton battle yet again
Latifi was in the headlines at the end of the 2021 F1 season. His crash at the season finale changed the complexion of the race, and Championship. Hamilton, who was moments away from winning his eighth Title ended up finishing behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Fans on social media were once again comparing this to the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP. This time however, there was no negative consequence for Hamilton, who ultimately ended up finishing P4 ahead of Gasly. Latifi meanwhile, continued his miserable 2022 form as he finished last, a lap down.
After the race, he revealed that his decision to hold Gasly off was to help both himself and the Frenchman with their races.
“I just wanted to give him the DRS,” the 26-year old said. “Because if I had let him going through a few corners earlier, then he wouldn’t have had any of that help and would have been hurt by the fact that Hamilton would have overtaken him, taking advantage of that dirty air.”