Is Nicholas Latifi’s time in Formula 1 running out? At least until the end of the year, the Canadian has his cockpit at Williams secure, said team boss Jost Capito in an interview with RTL/ntv. He could not stop the speculation about Latifi’s future, especially in the UK media, said the 63-year-old. But there are no immediate plans to replace Latifi currently. TJ13 understands that the real story is Williams are set to take on the Australian youngster and switch engine supply.
According to the website The Race, Williams could soon announce Latifi’s successor for the coming F1 season. The speculation is that the team will introduce a new man within the next three weeks, at the team’s home Grand Prix in Silverstone. According to media reports, Oscar Piastri is set to take over the cockpit from Latifi, who could then be handed his notice after his home race in Canada, of all places.
“I know I will drive for the rest of the season. That’s all I can say about it,” Latifi told The Race.
Piastri was a hot candidate for a cockpit as far back as the 2022 season in Formula One, but then came up short. The 21-year-old is currently a reserve driver for Alpine.
The Australian has a contract until the end of 2023, but according to The Race there is a clause in the document that allows the youngster to leave if Alpine cannot offer him a cockpit for the 2023 season. As both Alpine seats are currently occupied by Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon next year, the racing team could lose the talented youngster.
To avoid this scenario, Alpine is reportedly planning a loan deal. This is becoming increasingly likely, The Race has learned from unnamed sources.
With this kind of deal, Alpine would probably find an open ear at Williams, after all, the British team already have a loan driver on board in Alex Albon from Red Bull, who has performed well, exceeding expectations.
With Piastri at Williams, TJ13 understands that most likely Williams will switch engine supply to Renault, gaining the French manufacturer a much needed customer team. Toto Wolff of Mercedes is unlikely to block such a move as he has already indicated that Mercedes AMG need to lose a customer team sooner rather than later.