Williams driver Nicholas Latifi believes that his pace deficit to Alex Albon can, in part at least, be explained by the characteristics of the 2022 Williams cars.
Latifi is yet to score this season, while Albon has twice managed to finish in the top 10 and, including the results of the Imola sprint which set the grid for the race, the Thai-British driver has out-qualified the 27-year-old all nine times so far.
On average, Latifi has been out-qualified by over eight tenths of a second by Albon, who has only been beaten in race trim twice by his team-mate.
There have been one or two glimpses of the form that won Latifi six races in Formula 2 and helped him score points twice last year, but his deficit to Albon has left many questioning his immediate future.
He previously lamented that he could not give an answer to why pace has generally not been there this year, and he feels that the car just does not lend itself to him as well as it does to Albon.
“For sure, at the beginning of the season, there was part of that, and you could maybe still attribute some of the lap time delta to that,” he told Motorsport.com.
“For me, looking far beyond that and past any of the confidence limitations that I feel I was having in the beginning, the pace would just not be there.
“There are situations where I just don’t feel that my car is capable of doing what I see he’s doing on the data, which is not a nice feeling to be in.
“It’s a bit puzzling. But again, we’ll use this two-week break to see what we can analyse.”
The Canadian is hoping to find some answers for his pace and try to get his season off the ground next weekend at the team’s home race in Silverstone.
“We’ve been lacking so much pace, right from the off,” added Latifi.
“On low fuel, high fuel, when tyres are in a good window and we’re managing tyre degradation, we’re just way too far off.
“We have to use this two-week break to understand why and see if we can find anything. For me, it has to be something quite fundamental.
“There’s no situation or condition on-track, even when people aren’t pushing flat-out and I feel that I am that the pace is there to our competitors.
“So we’ll see, [I will] try and reset going into Silverstone, and go from there.”
Williams are currently rooted to the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship, 12 points behind ninth-placed Haas.