Latifi admits to ‘real difficult start’ to his season

Michelle Foster
Nicholas Latifi climbs out of his crashed Williams. Australia April 2022

Nicholas Latifi climbs out of his crashed Williams after contact with Lance Stroll in qualifying. Australia April 2022

With three crashes already this season, Nicholas Latifi admits it has been a “difficult start” to his 2022 championship.

Scoring his first F1 World Championship points last season, a year in which he seemingly closed the gap on his much-lauded team-mate George Russell, Latifi was backed to continue his progression as a driver this season.

There has been no sign of that as yet.

The Canadian has yet to make it out of Q1 on a Saturday and has in fact not lined up higher than P18 so far this season.

His efforts haven’t been helped by a spate of crashes, the driver twice into the barriers at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and then again in qualifying for the Australian race.

The latter meant he lined up P18, two places ahead of his team-mate Alex Albon, who had been disqualified from the session.

But while Albon ran an impressively long first stint on the hard tyres, only pitting on the penultimate lap, to score the team’s first point of the season, Latifi started third last and finished second last.

“It was great to see Alex finish in P10 in the end, which I also kind of saw at the end, looking at the TV after the chequered flag and saw he was there,” Latifi told the official F1 website.

“So super happy for the team because it has been a real difficult start to the season.

“But on my side, there is purely still quite a bit to find, we were just struggling with the balance and the pace.”

Latifi is hoping to make a step forward at the next race at Imola, especially when it comes to the Pirelli tyres.

“I think if [Alex] is able to extract that performance out of it, there is no reason why me in the other car shouldn’t be able to,” he said.

“So definitely brings confidence and yeah, for sure going to have a nice time looking through the data trying to understand how he was able to make it work.”


Williams’ head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, said of Latifi’s tyre struggles in Melbourne: “Nicholas had a… difficult race following a very different strategy to Alex.

“We wanted to spend a lot of the race on the [hard] tyre with both cars, but we chose to get Nicky’s [medium] stint done early in the race rather than put him on the riskier strategy that Alex followed.

“Nicky found the opening stint on the [medium] difficult and showed degradation like most of the field. His pace on the [hard] was better, but he still couldn’t quite match the degradation of Alex.”


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Latifi rues 'difficult start’ to the season

Nicholas Latifi has admitted he has had a "real difficult start" to his season, as he has crashed three times already this season.