Jost Capito has rubbished claims that Williams are preparing to dump out-of-form Nicholas Latifi and said “we stick to our drivers.”
Speculation has been growing about the Canadian’s future in the sport with some suggesting his home race in Montreal may be his last with highly-rated prospect Oscar Piastri ready to step in and replace him.
After routinely being outperformed by his team-mate George Russell last season, that trend has continued into 2022 with new recruit Alex Albon currently being able to get more out of the Williams car.
After eight rounds, Latifi resides in last in the Drivers’ Standings behind even Niko Hulkenberg who only raced two Grands Prix following Sebastian Vettel’s absence with Covid at the start of the season.
Despite this, Williams boss Capito has backed Latifi to continue and said he is struggling to get comfortable with the car.
“For Nicky it was definitely a difficult season to start with, I think he has not the confidence in the car like he had in the car last year,” Capito told media personnel in Montreal. “I think we push him, we support him to get the confidence.
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“We tried to set the car that he feels confident, and we very much hope that especially here in Canada, he can get a good result. It’s his first ever car race in Canada. So it’s very important for him that his whole family is here to support him, and he will get the full support from us.
“We’ve got contracts for this year, and not just the contract, we stick to our drivers, we support our drivers and we are convinced that Nicky will find the confidence in the car through the season and his results will be better.”
Williams need his results to turn around soon if they are to move off the bottom of the Constructors’ Standings. Ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, they have three points, 12 fewer than the next nearest teams Haas and Aston Martin.
Capito said the lack of a mule car has been crucial and it “hurts” not having the information when they developed the car.
“I think in general that hurts because not having that information when we develop the car, then you might do something or miss something in the development of the car and you carry that through the whole season,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a lot and we can’t define what it is, but for sure it doesn’t help all season.”
Torquing Point: Nicholas Latifi under pressure
Henry Valantine is joined by CC F1 to preview the Canadian Grand Prix, where Nicholas Latifi will be under the cosh at his first home race.