Nicholas Latifi was the only rookie on the 2020 grid. Here are the facts and statistics from Latifi’s debut F1 season!
Nicholas Latifi stepped up to Formula 1 with Williams in 2020 having finished as runner-up in the 2019 FIA F2 championship. He was the only full-time driver this year who failed to score a point. Latifi came close to scoring on debut, finishing in eleventh place in 2020. He would not finish higher than that for the rest of the season, though he went on to finish eleventh on two further occasions, at the Italian and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix.
Latifi failed to out-qualify George Russell at any race this season and qualified last of the twenty drivers on seven occasions. While Russell progress to Q2 frequently, the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session was the only one in which Latifi was not eliminated in Q1. Of the 48 qualifying sectors this year in the races where they were team-mates, there were only two in which Latifi set faster times than Russell. When Russell was replaced by Jack Aitken for the Sakhir Grand Prix, Latifi was able to out-qualify his former F2 rival – though only by 0.096 seconds. This is an area in which Latifi will need to improve in if he is going to remain at Williams beyond the 2021 season.
- Championship Position: 21st
- Total Points: 0
- % of teams’ points scored: -%
- Points Scoring Races: 0
- Best finish: 11th (x3)
- Number of starts: 17
- Number of non-finishes: 3
- Number of finishes: 14
- Laps Led: 0
- Laps Complete: 920
- % of Laps Complete: 88.72%
- Distance Covered: 4673.809km
- Laps Raced in the Top 10: 27
- Laps Raced in the Top 5: 0
- Laps Raced in the Top 3: 0
- Races gained positions in: 12
- Races lost positions in: 2
- Finished where started: 0
- Q3 Appearances: 0
- Q2 Exits: 1
- Q1 Exits: 16
- Best Qualifying Position: 15th (Hungary)
- Worst Qualifying Position: 20th (x7)
- Average Qualifying Position: 18.88
- Average Grid Position: 18.65
- Average Gap to own potential qualifying pace: +0.106s
- Achieved own ultimate pace: 5
- Beat team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 3
- Beaten by team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 48
- Average gap to team-mate per sector in qualifying: +0.309s
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: On his Formula 1 debut, Nicholas Latifi became the 765th driver to start a round of the Drivers’ Championship. With Lance Stroll also competing, this was the first Formula 1 race which two Canadian drivers started since the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix. Latifi finished in eleventh place, equalling team-mate George Russell’s best F1 result.
Styria: With both Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll reaching the end of the Grand Prix, the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix was the first World Championship Formula 1 race in which two Canadian drivers have reached the chequered flag. Prior to the Styrian Grand Prix weekend, the 1967 Canadian Grand Prix, the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix and the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix were the only three races which multiple Canadian drivers had started.
Hungary: After Nicholas Latifi joined his team-mate in Q2, the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix marked the first time both Williams drivers made it out of Q1 since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix. Latifi picked up the first penalty of his F1 career after being unsafely released from his pit box and, despite making a great start, he finished in a lower position than where he started for the first time in his career.
Britain: Nicholas Latifi moved ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Drivers’ Championship after the 2020 British Grand Prix. In the first four races of the 2020 season, the two drivers each recorded eleventh, fifteenth and seventeenth place finishes – but Latifi was ahead in the championship as he finished nineteenth at the Hungarian Grand Prix, while Raikkonen retired from the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
70th Anniversary: Finishing nineteenth in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Nicholas Latifi recorded the worst result at Silverstone for a Canadian driver since Jacques Villeneuve retired from the 1999 British Grand Prix. Villeneuve also retired from the event in 2000, but was classified in sixteenth place.
Spain: With eighteenth place in the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Nicholas Latifi equalled Williams’ worst result at Catalunya, excluding DNFs. The only other Williams driver to have finished eighteenth at the circuit is Robert Kubica in 2019.
Belgium: Nicholas Latifi became the second Williams driver to have finished in sixteenth place at Spa Francorchamps. The only other Williams driver to do so was Rubens Barrichello in 2011.
Italy: Qualifying last on the grid in twentieth, Nicholas Latifi recorded the worst qualifying result for a Williams driver at the Italian Grand Prix since Jean-Louis Schlesser qualified 22nd on his one-off appearance for the team at Monza in 1988. In more positive news for the Canadian, he was faster than team-mate Russell in Sector 2 by 0.232 seconds – the first time he had been faster than the Brit in any sector during qualifying.
Tuscany: Nicholas Latifi recorded the first retirement of his career at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix. With both Latifi and Lance Stroll out of the race, the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix marked the first time since the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix that multiple Canadian drivers have retired from a Formula 1 race.
Russia: At the 2020 Russian Grand Prix, Nicholas Latifi qualified on the back row for the seventh time. As a result of a gearbox penalty, Latifi started last on the grid for the third time; the second time he had done so in the last three races.
Eifel: Nicholas Latifi finished fourteenth in the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, which was the second best result of his career so far. He also equalled his second best qualifying result on Saturday with eighteenth place on the grid.
Portugal: Nicholas Latifi qualified last for the fourth time in his career. His twentieth position in qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix meant that a Williams driver had been eliminated in Q1 at all but one of the last forty races. The exception was the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix, where both Latifi and George Russell reached Q2.
Emilia Romagna: With nineteenth place on the grid at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Nicholas Latifi recorded Williams’ worst ever qualifying position at Imola. Their previous worst Imola qualifying position was eighteenth, recorded by Jenson Button in 2000. Latifi also recorded Williams’ 170th Q1 exit. On Sunday, however, Latifi finished eleventh, equalling the best result of his career to date. He also finished eleventh on debut at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Turkey: Nicholas Latifi qualified last for the fifth time and retired from the race for the second time in his career. Both of Latifi’s retirements have followed an eleventh place finish in the previous race.
Bahrain: For the third time in the last four races, Nicholas Latifi qualified in last place. It made 2020 the third season in a row that a Williams driver has qualified in 20th position at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sakhir: Nicholas Latifi out-qualified his team-mate for the first time in his career, out-qualifying Jack Aitken by 0.096 seconds. Latifi failed to finish the race, recording his third retirement of the 2020 season – his second in the last three races.
Abu Dhabi: For the seventh time in his rookie season, Nicholas Latifi qualified in last place. Latifi finished the race in seventeenth, marking the second time he has finished in that position in his career.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.