F1: Nicholas Latifi to leave Williams at the end of 2022 season

Nicholas Latifi
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On Friday, Williams announced that Nicholas Latifi will be leaving the Formula 1 team at the end of the 2022 season after three years together.

The announcement comes as no surprise given that Nicholas Latifi’s current contract expires at the end of the season. The Canadian’s departure opens the door for Williams’ academy driver Logan Sargeant or Nyck de Vries. de Vries is thought to be the team’s preferred option to become Alex Albon’s new teammate. He had to quickly step in at the Italian Grand Prix when Alex Albon was rushed to the hospital with appendicitis.

In a statement, Latifi said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Williams Racing – all the people back at the factory and those I work with trackside – for the last three years. My initial F1 debut was postponed due to the pandemic but we eventually got going in Austria and, although we have not achieved the results together we hoped we would, it’s still been a fantastic journey.”

“Getting those first points in Hungary last year was a moment I’ll never forget, and I will move onto the next chapter of my career with special memories of my time with this dedicated team. I know none of us will stop putting in every effort until the end of the season.”

Team principal and CEO Jost Capito praised Latifi for his “three years of hard work,” saying:

“He is a great team player who has a great attitude towards his colleagues and work and is well liked and respected throughout the business.

“Our time together is now coming to an end, but I know he will put full effort in to maximise what we can do together for the remainder of this season.

“We wish him all the very best of luck for his future, both in and out of the cockpit.”

The 27-year-old will have spent three seasons with Williams, appearing in 55 Grands Prix so far and earning seven championship points. His best result of seventh came at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, helping the team earn its first points in over two years at that point.

Currently, Latifi is ranked 21st in the Driver Championship with zero points, making him the only driver who has yet to score a point this season.

Nicholas Latifi will also be remembered for his crash in the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi that sparked the controversial ending that saw Max Verstappen crowned champion. The Canadian later confirmed that he received death threats and was subjected to online abuse, both of which had affected him mentally.

The Current Formula 1 Grid for 2023:

Red Bull Max Verstappen Sergio Perez
Ferrari Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton George Russell
Alpine Esteban Ocon TBC
McLaren Lando Norris Oscar Piastri
Alfa Romeo Valtteri Bottas TBC
Haas Kevin Magnussen TBC
Aston Martin Fernando Alonso Lance Stroll
AlphaTauri Pierre Gasly Yuki Tsunoda
Williams Alex Albon TBC

The Formula One grid has just four spots left and with Latifi off the board, even if expected, the options continue to narrow. Will Williams opt for de Vries or Sargent? When will Alfa Romeo announce Zhou Guanyu? Who gets the second seat at Haas? And will Alpine go with Ricciardo, pull Gasly away from AlphaTauri, or choose Formula 2’s Jack Doohan?

Featured Image Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images