Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya

Latifi proud to represent Canada despite “strange” switch to US licence

2020 F1 season

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Canada’s Nicholas Latifi says he is surprised to be making his Formula 1 debut using an American licence following developments at Canada’s national sporting authority.

ASN Canada FIA, which organises motorsport in Canada, voluntarily resigned its mandate from the FIA last December. This has meant Latifi and fellow Canadian racer Lance Stroll have had to obtain licences from the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States.

“It was a bit strange to be honest,” said Latifi. “We had actually heard that this might be the case going into the end of last year, coming back from Abu Dhabi, that into the new year the Canadian ASN might have not been renewed or not be allowed to give the licences out anymore. So we had actually already applied for the licence before I got signed.

“So I actually had my Canadian A Licence, which we need to then apply for the super licence. But then it was not accepted by the FIA for the super licence. So very quickly we had to apply for the US one. So it was a bit surprising, but at the end of the it doesn’t really change much for me.”

Despite the change of licence, Latifi will continue to be recognised as a Canadian driver. “I still have the Canadian flag beside my name, it should still be the Canadian flag on the TV screen beside my name,” he said. “So that’s the main thing that counts.”

Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Stroll also has an American licence
The first race of 2020 will be the first time for more than five decades that two Canadian drivers have raced together in F1. “I think it’s quite cool that there’s going to be two Canadians sharing the official starting grid,” said Latifi.

“I’ve always said it from racing in Formula 2, at that time it was the highest level I was racing, you feel more on the international stage in the Formula 1 paddock. I take a lot of pride in representing Canada, representing my country.

“So definitely I think it’s going to be great for the sport and great for the Montreal grand prix as it’s always, in my opinion, one of the best ones – I’m not just saying that because I’m Canadian.”

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6 comments on “Latifi proud to represent Canada despite “strange” switch to US licence”

  1. Oh, come on.

    Rather than just head and tailing a press release, could you please give some context and explanation?
    like, why is the Canadian ASN removed?

    1. I believe it was nothing more sinister than the fact that the people running it were very old and decided to retire. Would have to assume it was a very small organisation.

    2. @falken – it was covered in the earlier article from a few weeks ago (which is linked in the above article):

      … Canada’s national sporting authority resigned its mandate from the FIA.

      ASN Canada FIA, the body which organises motorsport in Canada, voluntarily resigned last December. Former president Paul Cooke and vice-president Roger Peart, both in their eighties, decided they could no longer dedicate the requisite effort to the ASN. This left Racing Point’s Stroll and Williams driver Latifi, the latter making his F1 debut this year, unable to obtain licenses in their home country.

  2. I’m curious about the two Canadians competing at the same time five decades ago. Gilles and…?

    1. Gilles and his younger brother Jacques.

    2. His younger brother Jacques. He did not start the race, though, failing to qualify on two occasions in 1981. He’s uncle of the World Champion Jacques.

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