British Formula One team Williams Racing have announced that their driver Nicholas Latifi will be leaving the team at the end of the 2022 F1 season once his current contract comes to an end.
The Canadian driver spent three years in Formula 2 between 2017 and 2019, and his second-place finish in the 2019 Championship Standings was rewarded with an F1 seat for the 2020 season. Latifi made his Formula One debut with Williams at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix and has gone on to race in in 55 Grands Prix, scoring seven points in that time. He scored his maiden points at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, finishing seventh.
Latifi’s time at Williams has been below average, however, with him having been comfortably beaten by his teammates George Russell (in 2020 and 2021) and Alex Albon, who also has had the better of the Canadian racer so far this season. Even Williams’ stand-in driver Nyck de Vries got the better of Latifi at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix; being out-performed by a debutant was probably the final nail in the coffin of Latifi’s future with the British team.
Aside from driving for Williams, Latifi has also served as a reserve and test driver for Renault and Force India in the past.
Speaking on his departure, Nicholas Latifi commented:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Williams Racing – all the people back at the factory and those I work with trackside – for the last three years. 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.“
Jost Capito, CEO and Team Principal, Williams Racing, added:
“On behalf of the whole team, I would like to say an enormous thank you to Nicholas for his three years of hard work with Williams. He is a great team player who has a great attitude towards his colleagues and work and is well liked and respected throughout the business. Our time together is now coming to an end, but I know he will put full effort in to maximise what we can do together for the remainder of this season. We wish him all the very best of luck for his future, both in and out of the cockpit.”
While Williams have confirmed Alex Albon for the 2023 season, they have stated that Latifi’s replacement and Albon’s teammate will be announced in due course.