After three seasons in F1, Nicholas Latifi’s memory is fleeting. His crash at last year’s final race in Abu Dhabi led Max Verstappen, not Lewis Hamilton, to the world title. Canadians never got over the hate messages and death threats. He will disappear from F1 next year.
With five laps to go, the eighth world title was on the horizon. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) appears to have finally settled with title rival Max Verstappen (Red Bull) in Abu Dhabi. Only intervention by the safety car could throw a spanner into the work…
And just then, after a duel with Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi crashed into the tire wall. A dramatic end to the 2021 title fight begins. Verstappen seized the golden opportunity for his first world title and smashed it relentlessly.
Race director Michael Masi was racking his brain over questionable decisions, but Latifi was also the target of die-hard Lewis Hamilton fans who saw the Briton “steal” the crown for the eighth time. did.
Latifi quickly deleted Twitter and Instagram from his phone, but a flurry of hate messages and death threats managed to reach the Canadian.
It was so bad that Latifi hired a bodyguard. “Some people may laugh that this is overkill, but I take death threats very seriously,” he said.
The fact that I already felt like I should have deleted Instagram and Twitter speaks volumes about how cruel the online world can be.
How bad the last few months of 2021 have been for Latifi was clear from an open letter the Canadian published on its website. “The extreme tone of the hateful messages and death threats shocked me,” he wrote.
“The fact that I already felt like I should have deleted Instagram and Twitter speaks to how cruel the online world can be. “
But Latifi also found support in an unexpected corner. Lewis Hamilton endorsed him in a message, and neither did the rest of Mercedes condemn him.
With the new season in sight, Latifi said he “put the drama behind him.” “I think people will be talking about other things when the season starts.”
But the less-credited Canadian still had questions after his first season as a rookie.
Latifi had finished in the premier class as vice-champion of Formula 2 in 2020, but Williams had largely opted for his father’s extensive portfolio. Billionaire Michael Latifi poured a lot of money into sponsoring the ailing team.
Teammate of top talent George Russell, Latifi was already in the shadows before his F1 debut. The fact that he got into a bad car, set late times and went off the track regularly didn’t affect his image either.
Latifi was jokingly nicknamed GOATifi. This is an ironic reference to “the best ever”. In his second season, Latifi managed to score points in Hungary and (short race) Belgium, but a crash at the final race in Abu Dhabi took a devastating blow to his image. Latifi has become more famous as an internet meme than as an F1 driver.
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With Alex Albon as Williams’ new teammate, Latifi had to make more appearances this season, but unlike the Thai, the Canadian failed to score any points.
The fact that Nick de Vries, who replaced the sick Albon at Monza, was able to quickly score points was significant. It was already clear at the time that Latifi would no longer be driving for Williams in 2023.
Team principal Jost Capito has long been able to cite the situation as mitigating the aftermath of the crash in Abu Dhabi, but those excuses have reached their limits. “We never blame riders for crashes,” Capito said on the podcast.
“I think the crash is one of the reasons why he hasn’t been competitive right away this season, and I’m sure it affected his performance. This is why we supported
But the credits ran out. Williams will not continue with Latifi next season. Nyck de Vries wishes he is high on the list, and the F2 driver Logan Sargeant also seems to be a candidate.
After three seasons in Formula 1, Nicolas Latifi will forever be remembered. His crash at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix sent Max Verstappen, not Lewis Hamilton, to the world title. The Canadian never got over the negative reactions and death threats.He will disappear from F1 next year.