Latifi, Stroll blame each other for bizarre crash | Alonso rues shunt
‘He just turned into me once I was alongside him’; Latifi and Stroll put the blame on each other for their bizarre crash in Q1; Leclerc takes pole, with a Red-Bull P2 and P3; watch Sunday’s race live on Sunday at 6am on Sky Sports F1
By Megan Wellens
Last Updated: 09/04/22 10:06am
Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll have blamed each other for their bizarre crash in Australian GP qualifying.
As the pair were jostling for position in Q1, albeit on a cool lap, Latifi initially let Stroll through after pulling over to the edge of the track.
However, unbeknown to Stroll, the Williams driver then tried to re-overtake on the approach to a narrow Turn 9, and the Aston Martin caught the back of the Williams to cause heavy damage for both cars and a red flag.
It was the clumsiest of exchanges, but for Latifi, the responsibility lay firmly with Stroll.
“For me, it is quite clear. I have just seen the video, I just tried to hold that line to prepare my out lap and he just turned into me once I was alongside him,” he said.
For Stroll, though, he believed he had done nothing else but hold his line.
“We were on a cool lap, I saw the video and he went to pass me all of a sudden on a very awkward part of the circuit,” Stroll said.
“I think what happened was just very awkward. He was all of a sudden just trying to come by me and it goes very narrow to the right there. Then we made contact.”
The crash left the two drivers faced with back-of-the-grid starts for Sunday’s race.
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Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle, believed the incident was an unnecessary moment from both the Williams and the Aston Martin driver.
“It’s a very expensive misunderstanding,” said Brundle.
“Latifi thought he was letting someone through who didn’t come through, then the Aston came through.
“So then he decided to get back on with it and boom, they met in the middle. They just dismantled the back of that Williams.
“That was a totally unnecessary accident for the pair of them.”
Alonso: ‘That lap was good enough for top three’
The incident between Stroll and Latifi was not the only red flag of the qualifying session, as Fernando Alonso went into the wall in the middle of what was shaping up to be one of the best laps of Q3.
After setting the fastest time in sector one, the Alpine driver was on the way to cementing himself at the top of the grid when a hydraulics issue saw him unable to change gears and ultimately end up in the wall.
“I think it’s something hydraulic because I couldn’t change gear and the steering became very, very heavy, so I guess we lost the power steering,” said Alonso.
“I don’t know if we could fight for pole…but for sure, top three. I think that lap was good enough for top three and we had two sets of new tyres. It’s all frustrating.
“I was probably doing my best weekend in years and fighting for pole position, but whatever it is [in the race] we’ll take it.”
The Australian GP gets underway at 6am on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, with build up from 4:30am.