Nicholas Latifi believes that Nyck de Vries’ performance at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend was more down to the straight-line speed of the Williams car.
Latifi went into the weekend having been out-qualified 13 times by Alex Albon, and he was out-paced by de Vries during the first practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Since then, the Dutchman has had outings with Mercedes in France, and Aston Martin in Italy, before Albon came down with appendicitis during the Monza weekend.
Williams called on de Vries to replace the Thai-Briton, and the 2019 Formula 2 champion out-qualified Latifi on Saturday.
The Canadian was eliminated in the first session, and de Vries might have made Q3 had it not been for an incorrect switch position on his wheel that saw him lock up going into the Roggia chicane.
Latifi was more than happy, after qualifying, to affirm that his stand-in team-mate had done a stellar job.
“He quickly picked up a good pace. He jumped in the car for FP3 and it was quite impressive how fast he went straight away. Everyone knows that Nyck is a fast rider,” he said.
“So yes, it is impressive what he has done.”
De Vries finished ninth in the race, while Latifi fell back to 15th in a superb debut for the 2021 Formula E champion.
The 27-year-old held onto the back of the train led by Daniel Ricciardo for much of the afternoon, while Latifi struggled to find pace on Sunday.
The 2019 F2 runner-up ended up ahead of Kevin Magnussen after the Dane’s penalty and unfortunately-timed pit stop before the Safety Car was deployed, so it was another sobering day for Latifi.
The Montreal-born racer was asked about his team-mate’s display, and he appeared to indicate that the pace of the car, starting where it did, made the difference.
“I think that’s where the car should have finished,” said Latifi in the media pen after the race.
“Again, we just lost six, seven positions at the start, I mean I think if we were up front, the car had the position to stay up front.
“But, our car has never been a car to race and attack with, it’s stay where you are, and use our straight-line speed to defend, but that’s all it was.”
Latifi is now 21st in the Drivers’ Standings following de Vries’ points finish in Monza.