After crashing out of the race on the first lap of the Emilia Romagna GP, Nicholas Latifi reported that he only realized that he had collided with the Haas driver Nikita Mazepin after watching a replay of the accident.
Spinning out in the tricky wet conditions at the Acque Minerali corner, the Canadian came back on track and continued on to “Variante Alta”. Not realizing rival Mazepin was behind him, he tagged his front left wheel and was spun around into the wall on the right.
He said: “When I came back on, I was staying to the left side a much as I could (…) I thought that I was the last car as I saw Vettel go by me (…) I didn’t even see Nikita.”
“Anyway there was spray and looking back at the video he would have been right in my blind spot anyway,” he continued.
“But I was not aware he was there. So I actually [saw the video] not until quite a lot after the incident since I was in the Medical Centre for quite a long time, which actually just was a thing with the paperwork,” he added.
Latifi finished off with: “I thought I just got a bit of wheel spin and spun off because of that. So I was not aware of any contact with Nikita until quite a long time afterward.”
Haas driver Nikita Mazepin was also sure about the fact that Latifi had not been aware of his presence behind, stating: “He went off, he lost three places, and came back.”
“I was the car that he came back with side by side, and there was just not enough space for me. I don’t think he was aware of me, because I think he thought that all the cars passed him,” he added.
He finished by saying: “But then I was there and I just couldn’t move any further. It was very fortunate that I was able to finish the race.”
Latifi later expressed his disappointment of not finishing the race, after a good qualifying performance on Saturday.
He said: “It was very frustrating (…) There were going to be some opportunities. Obviously, very, very difficult conditions and actually frustrated with myself that I didn’t even get to participate in the race and see what could have been possible”.
The Canadian driver concluded by saying: “But yeah, that’s how racing goes sometimes”.