Nicholas Latifi blames F1 exit partly on external factors

Nicholas Latifi will leave Williams at the end of the 2022 season.

Nicholas Latifi has accepted Williams’ decision not to retain him going into next year, but he would like to stay on the grid if possible.

Latifi finished runner-up to Nyck de Vries in the 2019 Formula 2 Championship, and he earned himself a seat with Williams alongside George Russell for 2020.

The Canadian scored his first points at the Hungarian Grand Prix last year, which were quickly followed at the bizarre race in Belgium.

After Russell’s promotion to Mercedes, Latifi was joined by Alex Albon, who returned after a year out of the sport following his departure from Red Bull.

READ: Williams boss makes claim about Abu Dhabi controversy and Nicholas Latifi

The Thai-British driver has comfortably out-performed his team-mate in 2022, and has scored three points finishes, in Australia, Miami and Belgium.

He leads the qualifying battle 13-2 over a driver in Latifi who is yet to score points this year.

The 27-year-old’s exceptional qualifying performance in Silverstone was a reminder that he has tremendous pace and ability, but the consistency, sadly, simply has not been there.

At the Italian Grand Prix last time out, de Vries deputised for the appendicitis-struck Albon, and the Dutchman finished ninth after out-performing Latifi all weekend.

Article continues below

That was the final straw for Williams, who have decided to release him at the end of the year when his contract expires.

The Montreal-born racer insists that his results have not necessarily been all on him, and he is vying for a place in Formula 1 in 2023.

“Yeah, it’s obviously disappointing news,” Latifi told Sky Sports.

“I mean, I obviously would love to stay in F1, it’s what I’ve been working towards for a very big chunk of my life.

“It’s the pinnacle of motorsport, it’s where I want to be, but at the end of the day, this is a results and performance-based industry, it always has been.

“And, unfortunately, it just hasn’t worked out this year for many different reasons, some in my control, some out of my control. That’s motorsport.

READ: Daniel Ricciardo an option for Williams as Nicholas Latifi fired

“It’s always been the case for everyone up and down the grid, so yeah, now for the rest of the year – obviously I still have six races left –  I’m just looking to end on as high a note as possible and kind of close this chapter and three years with Williams off, and focus on what’s next, whatever that is.

“If you’re going to ask me what’s next, I don’t really have much detail to give you!”

De Vries, Logan Sargeant and Daniel Ricciardo are all possible candidates for the vacant Williams seat in 2023.