Capito was ‘not keen on changing two drivers at once’ at Williams in 2022

2021 F1 season

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Williams CEO Jost Capito says he wanted to keep some continuity in Williams’ driver line-up next year after losing George Russell to Mercedes.

Following Russell’s departure Williams confirmed Alexander Albon will take over his seat while Nicholas Latifi will remain for a third season.

“It was a difficult decisions because there are a couple of really good and promising drivers out there,” Capito explained. “For us we finally got what is a combination of youth and Formula 1 experience, and also a really good fit in the team.”

Albon and Latifi previously drove together at the DAMS Formula 2 team in 2018. “They have a very good relationship,” said Capito. “At the stage where Williams is right now we have to make sure that we have a good relationship and communication between both sides of the garage and as they work together in the past they know each other. This was also something that was taken into consideration.

“With Nicky, of course, we wanted to have a continuation as well. I’m not keen on changing two drivers at the same time.

“And not just that, because Nicky is doing a really good job this year and is still improving. I think he can even be a step up next year.”

Latifi was hired by the team’s previous management before it was taken over by Dorilton Capital and Capito was installed in charge. The driver said the new administration’s decision to keep him was “definitely confidence-building.”

“I think the previous races spanning back to before the summer break, I feel the confidence has really been building on many fronts for many different reasons,” he said. “And it is showing on my performances in the car, the team is seeing that.

“When you when you have a new set of bosses and employers that you want to to impress, it definitely is nice from a personal point of view that that they see you, they believe in you and they’re willing to commit to you. Especially in what is going to be a very exciting year, a lot of unknowns.

“I think all teams will say the feedback from the drivers going into next year is going to be very, very important because you’re kind of starting fresh and it’s going to be a blank slate to kind of develop the car. So to have that confidence from the team is really nice on the personal side.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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8 comments on “Capito was ‘not keen on changing two drivers at once’ at Williams in 2022”

  1. Does Latifi still bring a substantial warchest with him?

    1. @Broccoliface Yes, still, but not the (most) decisive factor.

  2. Good PR story. Bit transparent though

  3. The biggest piece of news in this is that they apparently spell Nicky “Nicky”, which I will admit had never occurred to me as an option.

    1. So we have Nicky, Micky, Niky and next year maybe Nycky. Hmmm.

  4. I mean, I think Latifi is fine, but I don’t really see that much of an issue with changing both drivers at once, as long as only one or neither are rookies. Pulling a Haas with dual rookies only makes sense if it’s for money and you were going to throw away the season and come in last anyways, so I get not doing that. But surely an experienced F1 driver would perform just as well in that Williams as Latifi would?

    But again, Latifi is doing well enough, and options for other drivers are limited at this point, but I’d be surprised if next season isn’t Latifi’s final run in F1 unless he significantly steps up.

  5. Makes sense to me. Basically every driver who has changed teams recently has at some point admitted that they initially copied their settled-in team mate’s setup which is known to work with the car. Yes 2022 will be entirely new cars, but some Williams-DNA will surely transfer over regardless. Same engineers, same design reasoning.

    From a performance standpoint, Latifi is decent enough. Yes George has destroyed him on saturdays, but that hasn’t brought him much more points. Williams just need the drivers to work well together, not have unreasonable expectations and being dependable point scorers when the opportunity arises. That last tenth of a second performance doesn’t matter that much.

    Financially, ofcourse a good decision, no doubt.

  6. Says something when Latifi and Mazepin are being retained to provide ‘stability’ to their current teams :)

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