Williams driver Nicholas Latifi was tickled by the false reports in Canada that he had been dropped by the team ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Having endured a difficult start to the 2022 season, Latifi continues to sit 21st and last in the Drivers’ Championship, and has been out-qualified in every race by Alex Albon.
Compounding these woes have been a series of mistakes by the 27-year-old, but he seems to have been able to smooth this out in the last couple of races, and even out-performed his Thai-British team-mate in Spain last weekend.
Before the Spanish Grand Prix though, Canadian journalist Norris McDonald gave false confirmation that Latifi was about to be replaced.
“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 tweeted.
However, he discovered that this news was erroneous, so apologised shortly after.
“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,” added McDonald.
Latifi’s form has picked up of late, and having two consecutive clean weekends will have done wonders for his confidence.
The Canadian acknowledges that Formula 1 is a fast-changing sport in which rumours are plenty, but he found the suggestions about him particularly amusing.
“When I saw that I just kind of laughed a little bit because obviously, it was not the case at all, I’m still here,” he explained.
“I mean there are always rumours circulating around. I think that’s the nature of the sport.
“But yeah, I mean, I was definitely a bit surprised to see it from I’d say a well-known reporter, without any real foundation behind it.
“So yeah, I just kind of laughed a bit at it really.”
Williams team principal Jost Capito previously asserted that he intends to honour the contracts of both his drivers.
“We have contracts with both of our drivers and we respect them,” he stated.
As for Latifi, the German is aware that he needs time to adjust to the Williams car which is radically different to last year due to the new technical regulations.
“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,” added Capito.
Williams continue to be rooted to the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship heading to Monaco this weekend, where keeping the car out of the barriers could well be the key to points.