Where Are They Now | Nicholas Latifi

Nicholas Daniel Latifi is a 25 year old Canadian driver, from Montreal, Quebec. Nicholas is currently racing in Formula 1 with Williams, and spent many years on the ladder to F1 with the most memorable being second in the Formula 2 championship with DAMS in 2019. Latifi competed in many different series including Italian Formula 3, British Formula 3, Formula Renault 3.5, GP2 and most notably and recently, FIA Formula 2.

The Canadian driver was picked up as the Renault test driver in 2016, participating in a test in May at Silverstone with the Formula 1 machinery, though it was a 2012 Lotus E20. At the post race test at Barcelona in 2017, Latifi tested his first Formula 1 car that was being used for that season, driving the Renault R.S.17 and again once more at Hungaroring. For 2018, he moved to Force India as their test and reserve driver. He made his debut with the team during FP1 at Canada, to which he followed with four more FP1 tests during the season. In 2019, Latifi joined Williams as their test and reserve driver. He helped the team out in six FP1 sessions.

Prior entering Formula One, Latifi competed in many seasons of Formula 2 or GP2 as it was known then. He entered his first season with Hilmer Motorsport in 2014, replacing Daniel Abt for the final round in Yas Marina. Not having tested in the Formula 2 machinery, he remained near the back of the grid, finishing in 22nd for the feature race and then 17th in the sprint race.

The result didn’t beat him down as he retured to GP2 the following year, competing this time with MP Motorsport in selected rounds: Hungary, Russia, Bahrain and UAE. Nicholas had a much more successful run in the Dutch car. Despite not receiving any points, he managed to achieve his best result in the championship with 11th in the second race in Bahrain.

For 2016, he managed to achieve his first full season debut with DAMS, competing with Alex Lynn. Already within the first race of the season, Latifi stuck it onto the podium, earning 2nd behind Norman Nato. He followed this with a 7th in the sprint race. Unfortunately, all the races after were less prosperous than before. The Canadian often either lost out to the points by a few positions or retired. The only two other points finishes he got later that season were in Red Bull Ring and Yas Marina, both in race one. Because of this, he only managed to collect 23 points after a good start to the season, putting him into 16th, only one point behind Sean Gelael. Both him and Lynn helped the team to achieve 5th with 147 points.

DAMS decided to retain the Canadian driver for the newly named championship, FIA Formula 2. This time, Nicholas was joined by Oliver Rowland, who switched from MP Motorsport. He got a bad start to the championship in 11th, but from then onwards, he was on an upwards rise with the results. In the sprint race the following day, Latifi managed to pull himself up to 4th, earning him his first of many points. He stood on the third step of the podium in the Spanish sprint race, to which he continued this run in both of the Baku races after a poor run in Monaco. His top results didn’t stop, earning a 2nd in Red Bull Ring. The Canadian gets his first ever win in the series during the Silverstone sprint race, which he then followed up with a second in the feature race for the following round in Hungary. As the championship came to a close, he manages to pull another 3rd in Monza, 2nd in Jerez and another 3rd in Yas Marina. With this many points finishes compared to last season, he managed to achieve 178 points putting him in 5th, only 7 points behind Luca Ghiotto in 4th. With Rowland gaining 191 points and Latifi earning 178, a score of 369 put them in third, behind Prema Racing.

Come to 2018, Latifi stayed at DAMS for the third full season, this time paired with Alexander Albon. Unfortunately for the Canadian driver, it wasn’t as successful as the previous year. He managed to finish 2nd in Baku, being the second round, but races from there were either mediocre being just inside the points, being outside the points or retiring. His next podium finish was Spa sprint race, winning it ahead of Lando Norris. His final points was 2nd in Sochi feature race, earning 2nd, before retiring for the next two races and then ending up 15th. A heavy crash on the grid during the feature race of Yas Marina where he stalled compromised his following race. The season ended with him finishing in 9th behind Luca Ghiotto once again, earning 91 points. The Canadian and Thai driver put their team into third once again, 47 points behind ART Grand Prix.

For Latifi’s final season in Formula 2 before heading off to Formula 1, DAMS kept him once again, this time driving with Sérgio Sette Câmara. He got a good start to his season, already winning the first race and then 3rd in the following sprint race. The results didn’t stop as he collected another two wins in Baku race two and Barcelona race one. A double non-points finish allowed his rival Nyck de Vries to gain more points to close the championship down. For the next four races, he finished within the points, but de Vries was already claiming 3 podiums including a win. Latifi came back with a 2nd in Silverstone feature race, followed by a win in Hungary. After Spa’s tragic incident, they came to Spa. For Nicholas, it was a weekend to forget, earning 13th and 10th, but he turned it around in Sochi, redeeming 2nd and 4th. Despite missing out on the championship, he still had a fight for second with Luca Ghiotto. With a 7th and then a 2nd, the Canadian kept ahead of the Italian by 7 points. With his rival winning the championship, he kept second, whilst his teammate finished 4th. Since DAMS had both drivers in the top 5 of the standings, they finished in 1st way ahead of UNI-Virtuosi in 2nd by 71 points.

After coming second in the championship for Formula 2, he joined the Williams team full-time for the following season after doing the test and reserve driver role. Nicholas was joined by fellow rival George Russell. His best result thus far is 11th in the Austrian GP, though still sits on 0 points, current to before Spa GP.

In terms of Formula 2 and Formula 3 coverage, this weekend, we’ll be out to Spa-Francorchamps for the 7th round of the season. Keep an eye out on our Twitter and Instagram to see how you can be included in our predictions for this weekend.

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