Canadian journalist Norris McDonald was forced to apologise after he made a mistake surrounding Nicholas Latifi’s future at Williams.
After a tough start to the 2022 season, Latifi sits 21st in the Drivers’ Championship having failed to pick up any points and been comprehensively out-performed by Alex Albon, while three major crashes – two of them in the same weekend – have put his future under scrutiny.
Mercedes EQ Formula E driver and reserve for the F1 team, Nyck de Vries, was bemused when he learned that his name was being thrown into the hat to replace his fellow 27-year-old.
“I have no idea where you read them [the rumours] or where you came across them. But then I’m very curious where they got that from, because honestly, I have no idea,” said the Dutchman during the weekend of the Monaco E-Prix, which he finished tenth.
McDonald tweeted out what he believed was confirmation of the switch “between two teams” that Spanish journalist Albert Fabrega had spoken of earlier in the season.
“Toronto‘s Nick Latifi fired by Williams F1. Two things: Williams better have a lot of money because there will be one hell of a lawsuit and his replacement, Nyck DeVries, had better do better in that pig of a car, which is doubtful,” he said.
This was quickly debunked, so he backtracked on his earlier statement, apologising for the misinformation.
“Correction. Nick Latifi will continue as a Williams driver for the foreseeable future. Information I received earlier today was incorrect. It doesn’t matter how old are how often one learns this important lesson: get it first but first get it right. My apologies to Nick Latifi,” he added.
Latifi himself has affirmed that there is plenty of “trust” between himself and the team that his fortunes can improve, and team principal Jost Capito assured that he does not intend to switch out either of his drivers before the season is out.
“We have contracts with both of our drivers and we respect them,” he told Sport1.
“Nicholas was only slightly slower than Alex on Saturday. He just needs a little more time to get used to the new car.
“But he has our full support and for us there is currently no question of changing anything about our driver pairing over the course of the season.”
Latifi scored points twice in 2021 alongside George Russell, and he managed to out-qualify the prodigiously talented Briton twice in the 38 races they spent together at Williams.