Involuntary referee of the fight for the world title between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the last race of the season, the Canadian pilot reveals to have feared for his safety.
Canadian F1 driver Nicholas Latifi has revealed he used bodyguards after his unwitting role in the outcome of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix last year which saw Dutchman Max Verstappen crowned world champion at the expense of Briton Lewis Hamilton after a race with a controversial result.
It was Latifi’s off the track in a Williams that prompted the intervention of the safety car in the final laps of the race. This allowed, following decisions by race director Michael Masi, Verstappen on his Red Bull to hit the pole Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and seize his first world crown.
Nicholas Latifi, 26, had been heavily insulted on social media following this Grand Prix and therefore decided to hire bodyguards during a visit to London during the holiday season with his partner Sandra Dziwiszek.
“It may seem silly to some people, but thinking about it you can’t know if people are really serious or not,” said the Canadian driver during the Tuesday presentation of his Williams team’s single-seater for the 2022 season. F1. “All it takes is a drunk fan at the airport or running into someone in a bad mood who’s taken one substance or another and is very opinionated. It only takes one person in a million,” he added to explain his decision.
“You have to take threats seriously because you never know what can happen and it is the sad reality that we live in a world like this where there have been death threats that have exceeded what is tolerable. “, he continued.
Nicholas Latifi also said he received a message of support after the race from seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and other members of the Mercedes team – whose engines power the single-seaters of the Williams team.