FIA Formula 2 Championship title contender Nicholas Latifi endured a frustrating weekend as the series reached its mid-point in the picturesque Austrian mountains.
The Canadian, a three-time winner in 2019, arrived in the Austrian town of Spielberg keen for an upturn in results after a challenging couple of rounds in Monaco and France.
He claimed P4 in practice at the short and tricky Red Bull Ring circuit, and followed that up with P6 on the grid for Saturday’s Feature Race.
Latifi strived to move forwards in the 40-lap encounter, which took place in swelteringly hot conditions, but his race was wrecked when DAMS team-mate Sergio Sette Camara spun him.
“Race 1 – not much to say! I was in a decent position to make the pit stop when my team-mate misjudged the corner and hit me and spun me around,” reflected Latifi, who turned 24 on Saturday.
Sette Camara was penalised for the incident but Nicholas was shunted down to P19, from where he put in a stirring recovery drive to finish in P9.
“It completely ruined my race, I went back to last place. My race pace was one of the quickest and if I was at the front I definitely would have been able to challenge for the win, or at least a high podium position, and take some points off my rival. So, on my birthday, that sucked!”
Nicholas started P9 for Sunday’s 28-lap Sprint Race and worked his way up to P6, meaning he preserves P2 in the Drivers’ Championship.
“At these races it’s always difficult to follow with the DRS train,” he reflected. “I had to stay in the dirty air and that hurt my tyres. I managed to gain a few positions but starting that far back there wasn’t much I could do. I got a few points in the end but sadly it was a weekend to forget.”
Nicholas will resume his F2 title push in a fortnight when the championship continues at Silverstone, Great Britain, from 12 – 14 July.