Canadian Nicholas Latifi says he understands and accepts the decision of the Williams team not to renew his contract at the end of the 2022 season. The team from Grove effectively dumped what many consider to be a pay driver from their squad, ending a long run of rich undertalented drivers the once mighty team has depended on since the days of Pastor Maldonado and co.
A few days ago, the Williams team confirmed that driver Nicholas Latifi would not be continuing with the team next year in Formula One after three years at Grove. Latifi will leave the team after the final six rounds of the calendar and so far no replacement has been announced by Williams, although Dutchman Nyck de Vries is widely tipped to take over the seat left vacant by Latifi in 2023.
Commenting on his team’s decision, Latifi said he fully understands and accepts that he will not be replaced:
“I understand the decision because it’s a results-based industry, performance-based, and this year it didn’t work out for many reasons,” Latifi said in Singapore on Thursday.
“I talked about some of the difficulties I had earlier this year, some of the things within my control, some of the things out of my control, that’s how it always goes in this sport. I just didn’t get the results I needed.”
Latifi “Not giving up on F1”
With very few grid spots still available in F1 next year, the Canadian’s future in the sport looks more than uncertain. However, Nicholas Latifi is not giving up just yet and sees the next six races as opportunities for him to showcase his talent and put the odds in his favour.
“Formula 1 is definitely where I want to be. It is the pinnacle of motorsport and what I have dedicated most of my life to,
“If there is an option, I would be a fool to turn it down. But for now, we’re only going to focus on the last six races, and realistically, having six good last races is the best thing to continue on the F1 path.”
Assuming he doesn’t find a seat for next year, Latifi admits he hasn’t thought about the post-F1 era:
“I understand and accept the decision. I just need to focus on the last six races and finish this chapter of my career with Williams in style, then focus on the rest of my career.”
Latifi is perhaps best remembered for crashing out during the dying moment of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, setting up the situation that caused much controversy with Lewis Hamilton losing the lead to Dutchman Max Verstappen who went on to win the 2021 Formula 1 drivers championship.
Nicholas Daniel Latifi made his Formula One debut at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix and has served as a test and reserve driver for Renault, Force India and Williams.
Latifi joined Williams as a race driver for the 2020 season, replacing Robert Kubica and partnering former Formula 2 competitor George Russell. The Canadian was due to make his Formula One debut at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. He was entered into the race, however, it was later cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His debut instead came at the Austrian Grand Prix that year.