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Latifi aiming to push Russell 'as soon as possible'

  • Published on 21 May 2020 08:54
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Nicholas Latifi says he is aiming to get up to speed in Formula 1 and push his teammate George Russell as soon as he possibly can. 

After a number of years racing in the FIA Formula 2 championship, Latifi signed with Williams as a full-time driver in 2020, having spent last year as a test driver.

His teammate Russell had his maiden season in F1 in 2019, but was stuck at the back of the field as Williams struggled to compete against its rivals, picking up just a single point throughout the entire season.

When asked by Sky F1 what he is aiming for during his first year in the championship, Latifi said: “It's a difficult one, we're not exactly sure as a team where we are going to be on the grid.

“We know we had a good pre-season test and it's a step forward from last year, but it will be difficult to say 'I want to finish in this position'.

“All I can say is I have my teammate as a reference, he has the same car as me. Like any racing driver you want to beat your teammate.

“So I want to beat George but I'm also aware that going into F1 as a rookie it's very difficult. I know he's going to have the advantage in the first races, but I definitely want to get on pace with him and push him as soon as possible and help the team get further up the grid.”

'Australian GP weekend felt like a movie'

Latifi was originally set to take part in his first grand prix in Melbourne two months ago, before the Australian GP was cancelled just hours before the opening practice session went began.

Speaking about the weekend, Latifi admits that the situation at the time didn't feel real and seemed like “something out of a movie”.

“It was very weird. Now that it has been a few months since we've been in the situation, it definitely feels real. But when it first happened, it definitely didn't feel real,” Latifi said.

“It felt like something out of a movie, and then seeing the coming weeks, how everything was changing and evolving so quickly, I couldn't wrap my head around it.

“At the end of the day, regardless of the fact that it was going to be my debut in F1, it was still the same situation for everyone else. 

“It was very disappointing for sure. It was a long build-up to that, we were a day away from driving, a few days away from getting to lights out on the grid.

“And then having it taken away was very strange but I've just been keeping ready and I know the opportunity is going to come eventually.”

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AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Friday weather-image

    Saturday weather-image

    Sunday weather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Race

    15:10 - 17:10

  • Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

    Fastest lap

     

AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

  • Saturdayweather-image

  • Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

  • Sunday weather-image

  • Race

    15:10 - 17:10

    Fastest lap

    15:10 - 17:10

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Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
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Spain
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Spain
13 - Mar 15
Australia
20 - Mar 22
Bahrain
3 - Apr 5
Viet Nam
17 - Apr 19
China
1 - May 3
Netherlands
8 - May 10
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21 - May 24
Monaco
5 - Jun 7
Azerbaijan
12 - Jun 14
Canada
26 - Jun 28
France
3 - Jul 5
Austria
17 - Jul 19
United Kingdom
31 - Aug 2
Hungary
28 - Aug 30
Belgium
4 - Sep 6
Italy
18 - Sep 20
Singapore
25 - Sep 27
Russian
9 - Oct 11
Japan
23 - Oct 25
United States of America
30 - Nov 1
Mexico
13 - Nov 15
Brazil
27 - Nov 29
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
13 - Mar 15
Australia Albert Park
20 - Mar 22
3 - Apr 5
Viet Nam Hanoi Circuit
17 - Apr 19
1 - May 3
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
8 - May 10
21 - May 24
Monaco Monte Carlo
5 - Jun 7
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
12 - Jun 14
26 - Jun 28
France Paul Ricard
3 - Jul 5
Austria Red Bull Ring
17 - Jul 19
United Kingdom Silverstone
31 - Aug 2
Hungary Hungaroring
28 - Aug 30
4 - Sep 6
Italy Monza
18 - Sep 20
25 - Sep 27
Russian Sochi Autodrom
9 - Oct 11
23 - Oct 25
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13 - Nov 15
Brazil Interlagos
27 - Nov 29
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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