Nicholas Latifi says avoiding the multi-car crash on the opening lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix secured Williams’ first championship points since 2019.
Latifi and team-mate George Russell crossed the line at the end of the race in eighth and ninth respectively, but later moved up one position each after Sebastian Vettel was disqualified.
Both drivers benefitted from a chaotic opening corner, where several drivers were involved in incidents.
Latifi briefly ran in third place after pitting for slick tyres, before dropping back as the race wore on. However, he still managed to bag his first top-ten finish in Formula 1.
“[I’m] super happy, coming into the race, it’s what we could have hoped for but probably not what was realistic,” Latifi said.
“I guess the start sealed it all, just avoiding the carnage, then making the right call, as soon as we pulled away for the restart within two corners I was like ‘yeah it is slicks, we have to pit’.
“I mean it is like if no one else does it and you’re the only one, you give away a good starting place but it was clear, a lot of people pitted also. [I] just focused on my own race.
“I know I didn’t have the pace to stick to the guys in front when I was P3 so made sure I got my tyres to the end, I struggled with them and got hit quite hard.”
The strong finish for Williams sees it leap to eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of Alfa Romeo and Haas.
“Double points for the team, amazing, P8 in the championship, [it’s the] best we could have hoped for,” Latifi added.
“I haven’t been in the points-scoring positions this year but George has, and as a team we’ve been making improvements from the start of the year to now and have been knocking on the door of those points.
“It’s just so nice to get them and rewarded the team for that. On my side personally extremely satisfied and for the team even more so as they’re working so hard.”