Williams boss blames Lewis Hamilton fans for Nicholas Latifi’s retirement

Nicholas Latifi has never quite escaped the shadow of his team-mates, ultimately costing him his Formula 1 career.

Over the past three seasons, Nicholas Latifi has entered 57 Grand Prix with Williams and scored a total of nine points.

It’s statistics like these that make Jost Capito and Williams’ decision to part ways with the Canadian driver seem justified, with the three-year relationship set to come to an end at the close of the season.

Jost Capito outlines the decision as a result of a two way disappointment in results, while Latifi didn’t perform as well as the team would have liked and the driver himself didn’t expect his performances to be as poor as they have been.

“I think his performance was this year not on the level he expected of his performance himself. And we didn’t expect his performance to be like this,” explained Capito.

Jenson Button and Williams boss Jost Capito.v1

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“So, and then after three years, I think it’s right for the team and the driver to find different opportunities for both,” he continued.

Forever the runner-up, it seems Latifi has never quite been able to take full advantage of the opportunities to step up at Williams when they have presented themselves.

For example, considering the fact that George Russell now races for Mercedes, it would be understandable for Latifi to be outperformed by the Briton during their time together at Williams, however he never managed to step up after Russell’s departure.

It almost seemed written in the stars that Latifi would improve when Russell left for Mercedes, with his 2021 performances improving as the season went on.

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However, this season, Latifi seems to have gone back to square one, being outperformed this time by Alex Albon.

The Canadian was even outqualified and outscored by F1 newcomer Nyck de Vries at Monza in his one off stand-in appearance for the team, despite only learning he’d be driving that weekend hours before FP3.

Capito suggests that Latifi has never quite shaken off the horrific abuse he received at the end of last season after his crash in Abu Dhabi triggered the Safety Car and in turn gave Max Verstappen the chance to snatch the championship from Lewis Hamilton.

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“As I mentioned in Monza, I believe Nicky’s performance has been impacted by last year’s Abu Dhabi outcome and circumstances after that,” the team boss suggested.

While the aforementioned de Vries will race for AlphaTauri 2023, it is not yet known who will race for Williams alongside Albon, but it is confirmed by the team it will not be Nicholas Latifi.

While Mick Schumacher, Logan Sargeant and Nico Hulkenberg have all been mentioned, Capito assures fans that “there is still a decision to be made.”