‘I’d be lying’: Nicholas Latifi makes admission about 2023 switch

Nicholas Latifi is in search of a seat somewhere in 2023 after being dropped from Williams for F2 driver Logan Sargeant.

With just two races remaining in his short-lived Formula 1 career, Nicholas Latifi has reflected on his three-year spell in the pinnacle of motorsport.

After making his way to Williams in 2020 after coming runner-up in Formula 2 in 2019, Latifi would’ve likely imagined that he’d fair considerably better than he has in the series, with the Canadian having been a regular backmarker.

Perhaps the driver hasn’t had the tools at his disposal to really show his potential; however, given that he has finished behind his team-mate in every season he’s competed in, there isn’t really that argument.

With the 27-year-old being replaced by Williams Academy and F2 driver Logan Sargeant next season, it’s highly probable that the number 6 driver won’t be seen in F1 again, but never say never.

READ: Aston Martin boss makes big claim about Sebastian Vettel

Instead, Latifi is looking into a potential move to IndyCar next season, with the Williams racer admitting that he’s in “some talks” with a few teams about a switch across the pond for 2023.

“Indycar is a category I am thinking about,” Latifi said in an exclusive interview with FORMULE 1 Magazine.

“It’s one of the few classes I like to watch when I’m not racing because it’s exciting and good racing.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say there are some talks with some Indycar teams.”

Article continues below

Given that Latifi hasn’t had a midfield-worthy car in any of his F1 seasons, it would come as little surprise that he’s potentially more excited to race in the American open-wheeled series than he was to race in F1.

Latifi explained that a recent comment made by Sebastian Vettel made him realise that he hasn’t been able to do what he loves most about racing often enough, “fight”.

Following his battle with Kevin Magnussen at the United States Grand Prix, the retiring German said that he will “miss the adrenaline” of duelling with another competitor, a feeling that Latifi thinks he’s had only “three” times in three years.

“Sporting-wise, it was challenging,” he said.

“On the other hand, you’re driving a rear-guard car, but it’s still a Formula 1 car.

“This year, unfortunately, we took a step back, while we hoped to compete in the middle bracket like Alfa Romeo, Haas and Aston Martin. They can’t take points in every race either, but they are in a fight every race.

“I had to think about that after Sebastian’s comments after his brilliant fight with Kevin Magnussen in Austin. How many times have I had that kind of feeling in my three years in Formula 1? Maybe three.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get to fight very often. You then drive many races against yourself, or against laptimes that your teammate does. I wish I could have experienced that real racing more.

“Because that’s what I like most about racing. If you don’t experience that feeling often enough, it isn’t there for a long time, you have to ask yourself ‘have I really raced a lot in the last three years?’

“No. So was the passion in that sense as high as I’d like? No,” Latifi said.

Getting away from the toxicity that is F1 social media is likely to be something else that the Canadian will look forward to, given that he’s typically found himself as the common victim of online abuse.

Latifi was targeted with online abuse and death threats after the 2021 season finale, with it being his crash that resulted in the controversial Safety Car that led to Max Verstappen becoming champion.

The Canadian explained that he’s not been on any online platform “all year”, due to there being more “negative than nice things”.

READ: Toto Wolff rues lost development time, praises Red Bull ‘sweetness’

“Some of the fans were clearly a lot more negative – clearly not a fan of mine. When things don’t go well, there are always people who jump on it to criticise,” he added.

“I know I have my own sincere fan base – people who have a more accurate picture of me as a person. Then on the other side you have the less sincere, which also applies to many media – including major ones – who choose to organise their business in this way.

“I try not to worry about it and I haven’t been on social media all year either because there are more negative than nice things.”