Ex-F1 champion delivers damning Nicholas Latifi verdict

Nyck de Vries made a superb impression on his Formula 1 debut in Monza last weekend.

1996 world champion, Damon Hill, does not believe Nicholas Latifi is good enough to remain in Formula 1 after his performance at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Canadian has been out-qualified 14 times in 16 races this season by a combination of Alex Albon and Nyck de Vries, and he is the only full-time driver on the grid yet to score in 2022.

De Vries was a last-minute call-up to replace Albon for qualifying and the race in Monza last weekend, when the Thai-British racer come down with appendicitis.

Having gone quicker than Latifi during practice at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this season, the 27-year-old made it through to the second qualifying session in Italy, while the 2019 Formula 2 runner-up to de Vries was eliminated in the first session.

READ: Toto Wolff says Nyck de Vries is guaranteed an F1 seat in 2023

The 2021 Formula E champion was lifted to eighth on the grid due to penalties up ahead of him, and he held on to finish a brilliant ninth, scoring two points on his debut.

Latifi started the afternoon 11th, but he fell back to 15th as his tough year continues.

While the 27-year-old has shown glimpses of the strong performances that took him to two points finishes last year, those displays have not been frequent enough.

De Vries’ result in Monza, in Hill’s eyes, is proof enough that Latifi does not deserve a place in the pinnacle of motorsport.

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“I’m sorry but this is the way it is, in this case, Nicholas hasn’t got the pace he needs to stay in that position in Formula 1,” he told Sky Sports.

“He’s had some good moments but along comes a guy [De Vries] who’s not even driven in the grand prix before and he’s done a fantastic job.”

On the flip side, the Dutchman may now have got his foot in the door for a seat of his own next year.

READ: Will Nyck de Vries replace Nicholas Latifi at 2022 Singapore Grand Prix?

“I know he had grid penalties and stuff like that, which helped him up the grid, but he still delivered in qualifying and didn’t really make a mistakes,” added Hill.

“He’s done enough for us to be talking about him, he’s got Toto [Wolff] talking about him. That’s what you need to do to become a Formula 1 driver.”

Latifi is known as one of the nicer guys in the F1 paddock, but his chances of staying on the grid next year are, sadly, starting to look bleak.