Nicholas Latifi: I ‘would consider’ F1 reserve role on this condition

Nicholas Latifi is considering a move to IndyCar after being replaced by F2 driver Logan Sargeant at Williams in 2023.

With both Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo’s F1 careers set to end after the final two races of the season, it’s easy to forget that Nicholas Latifi will also be departing the championship after Abu Dhabi.

Latifi’s three-year spell at the Grove-based side has been somewhat underwhelming, with the 2019 Formula 2 runner-up having largely failed to deliver the pace produced by him during his junior days.

He has enjoyed some moments of brilliance, with his Q3 appearance at this year’s wet qualifying at Silverstone being one of them.

His ninth place finish a few weeks ago at the Japanese Grand Prix is another one, with the 27-year-old having proved himself to be one of the grid’s best drivers in the wet.

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Other than that, though, there really isn’t much to celebrate regarding Latifi’s 2022 season, making it no surprise that his contract with Williams isn’t being extended.

Results pending, F2 driver and Williams Academy star Logan Sargeant will replace the Canadian alongside Alex Albon next season, with the British side prepared to take a chance on a rookie once again.

For Latifi, a move to IndyCar is looking like the most realistic option; at least, it’s the most speculated.

The Canadian was recently asked, though, if he’d consider a move to another Formula 1 team, to be their reserve driver.

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Latifi would be open to a role as a team’s “third driver”, but under one condition.

“I think the only way I would consider a third driver role is if I saw a realistic way to return to the grid in Formula 1, which speaking honestly and bluntly, I don’t see to be the case,” said Latifi on F1’s ‘Beyond the Grid’ podcast.

“Obviously Alex [Albon] did that last year, so it shows it’s possible. I think he was in a different situation with Red Bull.

“Me personally, just to be a reserve driver without any clear path of making a return, it’s not something I would want to do, because being a reserve driver is not what I see as my long-term career.

“At the same time, if I can’t find something that’s suitable for me next year, whether that means taking a year off to potentially put together something better for the following year, all the options are still open.”

More on Latifi’s future was discussed on the podcast, with the driver admitting that IndyCar is a championship he is very interested in.

Incredibly, Latifi would only make the switch should he find a team prepared to offer him a seat consisting of a ‘full programme’, meaning he’d compete in both the road course and the oval rounds.

This goes against what Ricciardo has recently said in regard to a future in NASCAR, with the Aussie not prepared to do oval races.

Latifi explained why he wants to do the ovals, despite having previously believed that they were “very dangerous and unsafe”.

“If I was to do IndyCar, I would want to do the ovals,” said Latifi.

“I wouldn’t want to take myself out of potential championship points,” added the Canadian.

“Especially if I was to do it for multiple years, if I didn’t do ovals the first year, then the second year doing them, I would still be having to learn and get on top of it.

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“By then you’re arguably in a position more to fight for podiums and wins and championships, and you’re still at a disadvantage for quite a few races.

“I did have the opinion at one point that they are very dangerous and unsafe. In recent years, less so, but it’s definitely something I would want to do.

“I think there’s only four races now where there’s ovals, but I definitely want to do all the races.”