Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

Latifi would feel ‘comfortable’ as Williams team leader

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In the round-up: Nicholas Latifi feels ready to assume the role of lead driver at Williams if he has a third season with the team next year.

In brief

Latifi ‘would definitely feel comfortable’ as lead driver

With George Russell expected to move to Mercedes next season, Latifi says he would feel experienced enough to take on a leadership role at Williams, especially given the radical changes coming to next year’s cars.

“If George was to leave and I was to remain, I would definitely feel – I just think by nature [if] I’m the more experienced driver in the team I would definitely feel comfortable to be the one in the team with the experience,” said Latifi.

Despite only being part-way through his second year in F1, Latifi said that his knowledge of how Williams work would help him take on that role.

“Naturally going into next year with the new car and new regulations, it would maybe be a little bit different because if next year was just then another evolution on this year’s car, I think your experience is more valued,” he said.

“You know what the weaknesses and strengths were of the current car and kind of the direction you still need to take it to develop next year you don’t know what you’re going to get, you might have to change your driving to a completely different style. The car might be handling completely different, have completely different characteristics to this year’s car.”

Beckmann blames financial struggles for losing F2 seat to Fittipaldi

Beckmann took his second podium of the season in Baku
Enzo Fittipaldi will step up to Formula 2 with Charouz from the next round at Monza, having competed in Formula 3 with the team so far this year.

He was replaced in the F3 team by American F4 champion Hunter Yeany at the last round and will now move up to take David Beckmann’s place in F2.

Beckmann he admitted a lack of funding had cost him his seat. In a social media post he said the split was “not because me and Charouz have any problems, just because F2 is quite expensive and I thought I had a different amount of budget available at the beginning of the year but it changed quite a lot and unfortunately I cannot compete in the last four [rounds].

“That’s how it is and I will now concentrate on other series. Motorsport is a tough one and if you don’t have the financial background it’s nearly impossible to achieve a lot so I’m trying to see what’s possible and concentrate on other series, for sure keep in the racing circle.

“It’s very unfortunate, I would love to still drive but I also understand Charouz take another driver because I cannot pay anymore.”

Fittipaldi was 14th in Formula 3 at the time he left, with a single podium to his name at the Hungaroring. Beckmann is currently 13th in the F2 standings with two podiums in Bahrain and Baku.

Vasseur: ‘there isn’t any driver out there’ like Räikkonen

Alfa Romeo team principal Frédéric Vasseur praised Kimi Räikkönen after Formula 1’s most experienced driver confirmed his plans to retire at the end of the year.

“There isn’t any driver out there like Kimi Räikkönen,” said Vasseur. “His presence, his charisma and his unique attitude, matched with the innate skill that made this team give him a chance back in 2001, have made him a legend of our sport in a way which numbers and statistics struggle to convey.

It was a pleasure to work with him in these years and I believe I speak on behalf of everyone at Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen, from the shop floor in Hinwil to the garage here in Zandvoort, when I say a driver like Kimi has written some indelible pages of our team’s, and our sport’s, history.”

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Comment of the day

After Kimi Raikkonen announced his retirement from F1, Mark looks back on his career:

Sad, but it’s time. And I say this as a Kimi fan since the early 2000s… probably two or three years late. Not that I’m sad we got those extra few years of Kimi, but what did he really achieve trundling around in an Alfa Romeo for a few years? We got some glimpses of the old racing machine he was, but more often than not, it was a painful reminder that the once ferocious turn of speed he had was long gone, and a bang average guy like Giovinazzi, at least over one lap, now had the measure of him.

He’s effectively had two full F1 careers, been a race winner in them both for multiple teams, won one world title, should have had one or two more, driven and won for top teams, is still Ferrari’s last world champion, competed against two of the greatest drivers of all time in Schumacher and Hamilton, Driven over multiple eras of car, engine and tyre regulations and won races in them all. Now competing against the sons of the guys he raced in his first career late in his second. It’s an incredible career.

Thanks Kimi, It’s been a blast.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Roberto Moreno won the CART Indycar grand prix of Vancouver

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 18 comments on “Latifi would feel ‘comfortable’ as Williams team leader”

    1. Sadly, I think the article about David Beckmann’s plight on losing his seat will not be the last one we hear about with the extreme costs to race in series that gets you into F1.

      Will we be seeing the best drivers in F1 or just the super wealthy drivers who can afford it?

      1. Will we be seeing the best drivers in F1 or just the super wealthy drivers who can afford it?

        But running short on financial support doesn’t automatically make you one of the best!

        1. @jff

          But running short on financial support doesn’t automatically make you one of the best!

          Without sounding pedant like the quote above, I think it’ll be best to skip this one due to obvious reasons.

    2. I’m glad Latifi thinks he can lead that team and that he thinks he can develop the Williams car for 2022 and onwards.
      He’ll be getting smashed by Albon pretty regularly though.. who has more races under his belt and more talent.. so.. I really doubt he’ll be ‘team leader’ for long.

    3. What’s the second Pourchaire tweet about? Were people (i.e. Kimi fanboys) giving him a hard time because he dared say he was doing work for the team on the day Kimi announced his retirement?

    4. What’s the second Pourchaire tweet about? Were people giving him a hard time because he dared say he was doing work for the team on the day Kimi announced his retirement?

      1. @geemac Don’t mind that. Just think how environmentally friendly the trophy will be and feel all warm inside for F1’s impact on the environment and climate.

    5. I would like more context on the Alejandro Agag quote.

      1. @major-dev – Google is your friend here “f1 taxes India” – the Indian Government took a certain stance on taxes being paid in India for races.

      2. @major-dev India classifies motorsport as entertainment rather than sport for tax purposes, meaning any motorsport series has to pay the same tax as a reality TV series or a pop concert. This was confirmed while Bernie Ecclestone was in charge of F1. He took offence to the cut in profits this entailed, and declined to renew the Indian Grand Prix (which meant it only existed for 3 years). I say “confirmed” because it is not clear whether India ever told F1 anything different, or whether a promise was made that was not kept (I’ve heard conflicting reports).

        Alejandro Agag will most likely plan for his series to be taxed as entertainment from the start, which at least means he’s likely to be starting from the right cost base from the Indian tax perspective (and thus not get a surprise later). Obviously, every business boss would prefer lower tax to higher tax, but if Alejandro can make a profit on the higher tax level, India will get its Regional Series. (If not, then there might be more discussions about tax codes…)

    6. Does Pourchaire need the third place in F2 to become eligible for the superlicence? I am curious whether Vasseur really wants Théo in the team.

      1. I think he has 12 points from winning F4 in 2019, plus another 20 for his third place in F3 last year. So he would only need eight more from somewhere to qualify, which equates to 7th place in F2 assuming he hasn’t picked up any from anywhere else.

      2. @Sviat Vasseur has said next year’s probably too soon, given his experience, so unlikely.

    7. What about F3?

      I wonder what Can Bus Timeout means.

      1. @jerejj CAN (Controller Area Network) Bus timeout in a normal car means that some fault in the communication between ECUs has occurred and it has timed out, like when something is disconnected or powered down. But it normally doesn’t show you such a pretty screen. Then again that’s a simulator so.

    8. Re Latifi: It won’t be easy with Albon.
      Re Beckmann: So that’s why Enzo was replaced at F3.
      Re Räikkönen: End of an era.
      Re Dutch GP trophy: Nice trophy.

    9. I admire Latifi’s confidence of being team-leader if Russell leaves. Personally I think Williams could put an untested and unproven rookie in the car and Latifi would struggle to keep ahead. He seems to have flashes of pace but overall he’s quite slow. If Williams do take Albon or De Vries I think it’ll be at less than 5 races in before we’re thinking of them as team-leader instead. Sadly I kinda get the impression he’s only there because his family have shares in the team, not because of his ability.

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