F1 2022: Nicholas Latifi leaving Williams at seasons end, Nyck De Vries, Daniel Ricciardo, Formula 1 grid

F1 2022: Nicholas Latifi leaving Williams at seasons end, Nyck De Vries, Daniel Ricciardo, Formula 1 grid

  • Motorsport
  • September 23, 2022
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  • 30
  • 4 minutes read

Formula 1 driver Nicholas Latifi has announced his time behind the wheel at Williams will come to an end following the 2022 season.

Latifi announced the news on Friday evening after spending the past three years with Williams.

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“So, I’m parting ways with @WilliamsRacingat the end of the year. Honoured to have represented them for the last 3 years. A massive thanks to the whole team – it’s been an incredible journey and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. Determined to end 2022 positively. 6 races left,” he wrote.

The Canadian driver has endured a tough 2022 season where he has failed to record a points finish.

He currently sits 21st on the drivers standings, despite the Formula 1 grid only containing 20 drivers.

Teammate Alex Albon was forced to miss the Italian Grand Prix through illness and was replaced by debutant Nyck De Vries who registered an eighth place finish to push Latifi down to 21st overall.

Latifi thanked the entire Williams team, having joined ahead of the 2020 season, and said he was looking to close out the season in style.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

Latifi’s departure was widely expected with the confirmation opening up one more seat for the 2023 grid.

There are currently vacant seats at Williams, Haas, Alfa Romeo, Alpine and one at AlphaTauri — after Yuki Tsunoda re-signed with the Red Bull feeder team.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has advised Alpine to give their vacant seat for 2023 to Daniel Ricciardo, claiming he would pursue the Australian driver if he was in charge of the Enstone-based team.

“I think I probably would (go with Ricciardo) to be honest with you,” he said.

“They obviously know him from a couple of seasons ago and he was very together during his last season there, scoring podiums, and I think he’s the type of guy that, I think you could rebuild him.

“It’s obviously not been a great experience for him (at McLaren) for whatever reason but you just have to think back to some of the drives that he did for us, some of the wins he had, the podiums, some of the stunning overtakes he was capable of … that’s still in there I’m sure, he just needs a bit of a reset.

“You don’t just forget how to deliver so I hope for him he gets another opportunity and gets himself back on the grid for next year.”

The F1 season resumes at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday October 2, with lights out scheduled for 11pm AEST.

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