Formula 1 driver Nicholas Latifi to Leave Williams After 2022


A photo of Williams F1 driver Nicholas Latifi.

Nicholas Latifi will leave Williams at the end of 2022.
Photo: Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto (Getty Images)

The latest piece in the Formula 1 jigsaw has fallen into place as Williams announced that it will part ways with Canadian racer Nicholas Latifi at the end of the 2022 season. This frees up a seat at the Grove-based squad alongside Alex Albon.

Latifi had been under pressure to perform at Williams all season. He started off the year on the back foot and failed to finish higher than 14th in the first nine races of 2022. Meanwhile, new teammate Alex Albon appeared to get up to speed much quicker and even scored points in the third race in Australia.

This followed two years that saw Latifi go head to head with George Russell, who consistently unqualified the Canadian at almost every grand prix. As such, questions have swirled around Latifi’s future with the squad for months.

A photo of Nicholas Latifi racing in Italy in 2022.

Latifi is the only full-time driver yet to score in 2022.
Photo: Dan Mullan (Getty Images)

Now, the British team has confirmed that it will not renew Latifi’s contract once it expires at the end of the 2022 season.

In a statement shared by the team, Latifi thanked Williams “for the last three years.” He added:

“My initial F1 debut was postponed due to the pandemic but we eventually got going in Austria and, although we have not achieved the results together we hoped we would, it’s still been a fantastic journey.

“Getting those first points in Hungary last year was a moment I’ll never forget, and I will move onto the next chapter of my career with special memories of my time with this dedicated team. I know none of us will stop putting in every effort until the end of the season.”

A photo of Nicholas Latifi racing in Austria in 2020.

Nicholas Latifi made his debut in Austria in 2020.
Photo: Clive Mason – Formula 1 (Getty Images)

Latifi’s time in Formula 1 has been a mixed bag, really. In the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Latifi’s seventh place finish scored him his first points in F1 and the squad’s first top 10 finish in two years.

But seventh in Hungary remains the best result Latifi managed while at Williams. He has so far scored points at just one other race, that questionable Belgian Grand Prix last year.

Latifi reached the third round of qualifying for the first time in his career at this year’s British Grand Prix, where he started the race in 10th but dropped back to 12th and out of the points during the race.

A photo of Williams driver Nicholas Latifi in Hungary.

Nicholas Latifi scored his first points in Hungary last year.
Photo: Lars Baron (Getty Images)

One of Latifi’s highlights came during this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. In the final practice before qualifying, the Canadian topped the timing sheets in a wet session.

Despite ending the session 0.66 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, he struggled to carry his pace into qualifying and ended up starting the race in 19th.

Sadly, for Latifi, his legacy in F1 might boil down to one fateful night in Abu Dhabi. During the final race of 2021, the Canadian crashed into the wall on lap 50 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

A photo of Nicholas Latifi racing his Williams in Abu Dhabi.

One fateful night in Abu Dhabi.
Photo: Dan Istitene – Formula 1 (Getty Images)

The incident brought out the safety car, which ultimately decided the result of the race and that years championship. In the fallout of Michael Masi’s rogue race direction, Latifi spoke out about the abuse he received following the incident.

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