Report: Podium success for the Academy precedes dramatic British Grand Prix

Published on
03 Jul 2022
Est. reading time
4 Min

NL6 finishes in season-best position whilst there’s relief after AA23’s early incident

Nicholas Latifi was our sole finisher at the 2022 British Grand Prix after Alex Albon was taken to hospital for checks following a hefty opening lap collision.
The Thai racer had been one of five drivers caught up in an incident at the opening corner, but thankfully everyone involved left the scene without serious injury.
Our Canadian eventually crossed the line in P12 following a battling drive that saw him run in and around the top 10 throughout, before ultimately having to preserve fuel.
Starting P8 on the restart, Nicky slipped down to P11 following the first couple of full racing laps but kept his FW44 firmly on the coattails of Esteban Ocon ahead.
On Lap 10, Sergio Perez boxed after picking up damage before the two AlphaTauris collided soon after, firing NL6 back up into P8 before eventually pitting at the start of Lap 20, switching his soft tyre for the medium compound.
After rejoining in P13, at the end of the pit window Nicky climbed to P9 after some solid out laps ensured he got the jump on Ocon.
Issues for Max Verstappen meant our No6 was reeling the World Champion in, whilst the Alpine remained firmly in his rear view mirrors.
It was around this time that Nicky ran slightly wide at the famous Copse corner, damaging his floor in the process and within the space of four laps, the hunting pack of Ocon, Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen all made their move.
However, there was to be one final twist in the tale when Ocon would bring out the Safety Car following a mechanical issue.
We were left with a 10-lap shootout and Nicky was pushing Magnussen for that final points-paying position.
But he was also under pressure from behind and, with three laps remaining, he was passed by his compatriot Lance Stroll.
Nicky would keep Daniel Ricciardo at bay to secure a P12 finish, his best result of the season so far.
Our British GP result
“​​From Lap 1 we were always fighting an uphill battle,” Nicky explained, continuing: “At the beginning, I was surprised at how much I could stay with the cars ahead but in reality, there was a little DRS train that was keeping me there because the cars behind were much quicker.
“It felt really nice to be properly racing in the pack. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the basic pace in the end alongside managing the car towards the end of the race.
“The car’s lacking downforce compared to the others with us missing pace in the high-speed corners, which wasn’t helped by some floor damage today.
“We put up a good fight, but it wasn’t meant to be today. Frustrating in the end but overall a positive weekend.”
After being discharged from the hospital, Alex shared: “I’m very glad that everyone else involved in the first lap incident is okay.
“Thank you to all the medical staff at the track and Coventry Hospital.
“It’s a shame our race ended before it began today, but we are already fully focused on Austria. Bring on the next one.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, completed the reaction by saying: “Following the incident at the start of the race, we are grateful that nobody was seriously hurt.
“It was a shame that Alex suffered contact as a result of the crash ahead of him, and that this put him out of the race after just a few corners and before we had a chance to see how the new upgrades were working.
“However, Nicholas backed up his strong drive yesterday with a very good race today. He showed good pace and took advantage of opportunities that came his way, including the late safety car.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t quite have the pace at the end to challenge for the final points position, but he raced hard until the end and put up a strong fight against faster cars.
“When he ran wide at T9, he did some damage to the floor, which harmed his pace in the crucial period after his first pit stop.
“We will get Alex’s car repaired and then we’ll head to Austria with some useful momentum and a plan to further exploit the new package.
“The Red Bull Ring has some similar characteristics to Silverstone and probably similar weather too and so we should be able to pick up where we left off this weekend.
That first F2 win feeling
In the junior categories, Logan Sargeant put in a dominant performance to cap off a near-perfect weekend, converting his maiden pole position into victory, becoming the first American to win in the modern era of Formula 2.
Whilst in Formula 3, Zak O’Sullivan lost just one position to come home in P2 after battling to the line, the young British driver’s best result of the season.
No better place to get your first F3 podium
With Jamie Chadwick’s victory yesterday, it means the Driver Academy leave the British Grand Prix with three pieces of silverware under their belts – you can read all about it in the full Academy Report coming early next week.
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