Latifi accepts Williams release decision, struggled to adapt to 2022 car

Nicholas Latifi has reached acceptance with Williams' decision to release him at the end of the year, admitting to struggles to get on top of Formula 1's 2022 formula.

Latifi accepts Williams release decision, struggled to adapt to 2022 car
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Williams and Latifi agreed to part ways at the end of the 2022 season, as the Canadian has been unable to show the continued progression from last season and is yet to trouble the scorers.

This brings an end to Latifi's time as a Williams race driver after three seasons, as the Grove outfit considers options to partner Alex Albon at the team for 2023.

Explaining Williams' decision, the Toronto native said that the team had concluded not to keep him after Monza, but that the verdict came after assessing the past few races – rather than in response to Nyck de Vries' starring role as a substitute for Albon at the Italian Grand Prix.

"It's simple, really; it's a results-based industry, and obviously the performance hasn't been there this year for many different reasons," Latifi said. "The team had to pick a decision that felt best for them. And they had to move in a different direction. So yeah, very, very simple.

"I understand the decision, obviously. And I just kind of need to, well, I have already accepted it and move on with the next phase of my career.

"I'm definitely satisfied with what I did. In a way, it's kind of made it easier for me to accept the decision, because I don't really have any regrets about how I went about doing the work - either off the track or on the track.

"It just didn't work out. So yeah, no regrets from my side."

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW44

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW44

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

After making his debut in 2020, Latifi earned a second season with Williams and showed progress from his rookie year, getting closer to then team-mate George Russell on more occasions and scoring seven points. Most notably, he outperformed Russell in his run to seventh at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

But Latifi admits that he was unable to adapt to the FW44, built to the change in regulations for 2022, and felt that it rarely gave him the confidence to show his best.

He said: "Naturally the philosophy of these cars, not necessarily our car, but it's kind of added to the difficulty and driveability. They're obviously very different, they're more on edge, less compliant, less forgiving – partly because the tyre, partly because the aerodynamics, the stiffness, so on.

"On face value, they're just not as nice to drive with them. And our car in general, let's say, had some fundamental flaws in the balance. So this is one thing I'd say in terms of the overall downforce you have, which we know we're lacking downforce.

"Obviously it's an issue because you know, downforce is...you always want more. And we know we're lacking a lot because when we get to the maximum downforce tracks we are the least competitive, or the less competitive compared to other tracks.

"But yeah, for me, it's just the kind of fundamental handling of the car, the balance. With last year's car, I did feel quite a bit better. But still, to be honest, that was never was a car that suited my driving style, I did have to change quite a lot and adapt quite a bit.

"But I just find it easier to deal with last year's. And that's just the philosophy of that regulation of car was a bit easier, whereas this year, it just never clicked."

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