Nicholas Latifi quizzed about being beaten by Nyck de Vries: What do you think?

Michelle Foster
Nyck de Vries climbs into the Williams. Italy September 2022

Nyck de Vries climbs into the Williams. Italy September 2022

Beaten by Nyck de Vries in his first-ever F1 qualifying session, Nicholas Latifi was quizzed as to how he felt about losing to a driver who only was told he was driving just before FP3.

The Canadian didn’t seem overly impressed with the question.

Latifi found himself with a new team-mate for the Italian Grand Prix ahead of Saturday’s final practice, Alex Albon out with appendicitis and replaced by reserve driver de Vries.

The Dutchman was “chilling in the Paddock Club” when he was called down to Mercedes and redirected to Williams, in the car a short while later for the start of FP3.

He finished that session less than a tenth behind Latifi before beating his more experienced team-mate in qualifying, P13 to P16.

The duo will line up P8 and P10 respectively after a host of grid penalties were handed out, nine drivers in total penalised.

Asked what he thought about being beaten by a driver who was only told he could drive just before FP3, Latifi replied according to “What do you think?”

He added: “He quickly picked up a good pace. He jumped in the car for FP3 and it was quite impressive how fast he went straight away. Everyone knows that Nyck is a fast rider.

“So yes, it is impressive what he has done.”

De Vries’ debut means there are two Dutchman on the Monza grid, the driver joining his compatriot, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen.

Asked if he felt the 28-year-old’s performance on Saturday was worth an F1 driver, Verstappen told Viaplay: “I didn’t see exactly how he did against Latifi, although that may not be the best reference… But we all know what Nyck can do.

“Nyck doesn’t win Formula E for nothing, and there are also a lot of good guys around. Sometimes you also have to be a bit lucky to get into Formula 1 at the right time. It all has to be a little bit.”

He wished his compatriot a good incident-free F1 debut.

“It’s nice for Nyck and in the end I think it’s also a nice weekend to join Williams,” he said. “They are, of course, competitive. In Spa already and here again.

“I hope for Nyck that nothing crazy happens in the first lap and that he can just drive a nice race.”