Latifi expects a ‘bumpy ride’ with F1’s new cars

Jon Wilde
Williams FW44 livery side. February 2022.

A side shot of the Williams FW44 livery. February 2022.

Nicholas Latifi says there is a consensus among F1 racers that the new regulations will lead to a “bumpy ride” for drivers.

The Canadian was speaking alongside his new team-mate Alex Albon at the launch of the Williams FW44, the livery of which has veered away from white and is predominantly dark blue – another colour readily associated with the team – with touches of red and a lighter blue.

The car has been designed for the much-changed Formula 1 regulations, which Williams hope will present them with an opportunity to build on last year’s progress that enabled them to climb to eighth position in the final Constructors’ Championship standings.

The new challengers the teams have created will be markedly different to drive – and from what he has picked up on the grapevine via his rivals on the grid, Latifi thinks they will take plenty of getting used to.

Asked how difficult the new cars will be to drive physically and mentally, Latifi, who was due to get his first taste in a Silverstone shakedown on Tuesday, said: “I think until we get going and actually drive the car it’s a bit difficult to say.

“There is, let’s say, an anticipation of what we are expecting. I think a lot of drivers are hearing the same things, that it will be a bit of a bumpy ride for various reasons – maybe a bit more physical in that sense, maybe more aggressive to drive.

“But in terms of my pre-season training there hasn’t really been much change to that, it’s just trying to be as fit as can be because that first day always completely shatters you.

“Very much looking forward to it and if it’s more of a challenge, it’s more of a challenge for everyone and an opportunity for us to try and do a better job.”

Besides getting himself acquainted with the FW44, Latifi also hopes next week’s ‘pre-season track session’ in Barcelona – an unofficial test – goes smoothly so the team can be confident of the car’s reliability for when running becomes more serious.

“I hope we get to do a lot of mileage because I think any time you take a car out for pre-season testing, the first thing you want to do is make sure the reliability is good,” said the 26-year-old.

“Barcelona, I think, won’t be so focused on getting the outright performance from the car, it’s understanding what this new car, new regulations, has to offer.

“Understanding the aero platform is one of the biggest changes with this new generation of car and just trying to get as many laps as possible, both for the team, for the systems, but also for the drivers, to try to get comfortable and build up that confidence.

“Once we get to Bahrain we’ll be able to focus a bit more on the performance, pushing the limits and trying to prepare for the race weekend.”

 

And what does the man from Montreal make of the new livery?

“I think it looks great, fresh,” he said. “The blue has been synonymous with Williams for many years so I think it’s important that it stayed.

“And the new flashes of red and electric blue…I think it looks great in person and will look even better on camera.”

 

Williams reveal their 2022 challenger

Williams have revealed their 2022 livery.