Nicholas Latifi stepped up to Formula 1 in 2020 with Williams after a successful spell in the sport’s feeder series. He continues at the team for a second year in 2021.
|Full Name||Nicholas Latifi|
|Date of Birth||29th June 1996|
|First Race||2020 Australian Grand Prix|
Nicholas Latifi was born in Montreal in June 1996. The Canadian is the son of Michael Latifi, a wealthy Canadian-Iranian businessman, who has investments in the McLaren Group. Latifi started his motorsport career relatively late in 2009, at the age of thirteen. His karting career came to an end in 2012, when he started racing in Europe.
After competing in the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Latifi began his F3 career in the Italian Formula 3 Championship. He won for the first time at the Vallelunga Circuit and finished on the podium a further four times on his way to seventh in the championship. Latifi raced with Carlin in multiple series in 2013, including the European F3 Championship, the British F3 Championship and the Masters of Formula 3 event. His most successful result was fifth in the British F3 Championship, in which he took two pole positions and one podium finish.
Latifi continued in the European F3 Championship in 2014, finishing tenth overall with a single podium finish at Silverstone. Alongside that, he also made appearances in the 2014 Ferrari Florida Series – where he won four races – the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and Porsche Carrera Cup GB. At the 2014 Macau Grand Prix, Latifi finished fifth, and he made a one-off appearance with Hilmer Motorsport at the final round of the 2014 GP2 Series. Latifi had a quieter 2015, competing with Arden in Formula Renualt 3.5 and again appearing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. He also made more appearances in GP2, this time with MP Motorsport.
Latifi stepped into a full-time GP2 seat in 2016 with DAMS and he finished as runner-up on his very first outing with the team. He would fail to replicate that success for the rest of the season, scoring points at only three more races. Nevertheless, Latifi remained with the team in 2017 as the championship was renamed Formula 2, and he had a much better season. He secured his first win in the series at the Silverstone sprint race and finished on the podium nine times on his way to fifth in the championship standings. Despite slipping to ninth overall in the following year, Latifi would win again, this time at Spa.
During this time, Latifi had become a test driver for the Renault F1 team, first driving F1 machinery in May 2016 at Silverstone. In May 2017, he drove Renault’s then-current car, before being announced as Force India’s test and reserve driver for 2018. Latifi made his first outing during an F1 weekend at the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix, where he drove in FP1 – something which he’d do four more times throughout the year. At the end of 2018, it was announced that Latifi would take up test and reserve duties at Williams for 2019.
Latifi challenged Nyck de Vries for the F2 crown in 2019, in a title battle that went down to the final stages of the season. Though de Vries ultimately won, Latifi scored four wins and eight podium finishes and did enough to prove himself worthy of an F1 seat. After months of speculation, it was finally confirmed in November 2019 that Latifi would replace Robert Kubica at Williams for the 2020 season.
LATIFI IN 2020
Nicholas Latifi 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 progressed 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. Read more: Latifi’s 2020 F1 Season In Statistics.
NICHOLAS LATIFI’S F1 RECORD
|Year||Team||Final Position||Points Scored||Wins||Poles||Podiums|