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Latifi: Joining former F2 rivals on F1 grid 'less of a jump in the deep end'

  • Published on 03 Jan 2020 16:47
  • comments 1
  • By: Dieter Rencken & Coilin Higgins

Upcoming Williams driver Nicholas Latifi believes that having past experience racing against some of the current F1 grid will make his move to the sport a lot easier in the long run.

Latifi explained that he felt as it wasn't as much of a step going to F2 from F1 as he would be joining drivers he already knew well, such as Charles Leclerc, Geroge Russell and Lando Norris, all of which Latifi competed against in his three years in Formula 2.

Before the season finale in Abu Dhabi, it was announced that Latifi would replace Robert Kubica at the Grove-based team, becoming the second Canadian driver on the grid alongside Racing Point's Lance Stroll.

MORE: Who is Nicholas Latifi, 2020's only F1 rookie?

"I guess it will make it a bit less, say, foreign," Latifi explained. "A lot of the grid is made up now of some very young guys, most of which I have raced against. From that side of things, there is a bit of familiarity.

"Maybe that won't make as much of a jump into the deep end, but then maybe racing against more of the established guys that have been there a while and have taken part in official I'm sharing the track with them so it won't be completely new.

Latifi 'wouldn't have been ready' for F1 debut two years ago

Latifi also spoke about his timing coming into his F1 debut, the Canadian being 24 years old by the time he makes his F1 debut in March.

Despite Latifi being slightly older compared to more recent drivers making their F1 debuts, Latifi admits that he would not have been ready for a debut in F1 at an earlier age and believes he is more ready now.

"For sure, had I gone into F1 maybe two or three years ago, I wouldn't have felt as prepared or ready as I do now," Latifi added.  

"I don't think a lot of people realised I started racing late, in terms of karting. I only started racing karts at thirteen where, compared to say, Verstappen or Esteban I think they were both in a kart at four years old.

"So when you take into consideration when I started to when I got to F1, it's about twelve years, and you can go up the list of a lot of the established guys and it's more or less the same."

Replies (1)

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  • Latifi doesn't deserve to be in F1. Nothing against him, but he just isn't near the top of his class. Took him 3 years to do a decent showing in F2. Getting outraced and out-qualified by his teammates until his third year. Everyone knows this is all down to his father's money. Like Lance Stroll but without the credentials Stroll has to his name in junior formulae. I expect Mr. Latifi to make a significant investment in Williams in 2020.

    • + 0
    • Jan 5 2020 - 01:38

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