Latifi suffers heaviest defeat of any driver in 2022 as he bows out of F1

2022 F1 team mate battles: Albon vs Latifi

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Nicholas Latifi had a new team mate this year but the result was little different. After another heavy defeat – the worst any driver suffered this year – he finds himself without a place on the 2023 F1 grid.

Until the 2022 season began Latifi’s only team mate in Formula 1 had been George Russell (aside from a one-off appearance by Jack Aitken). Russell’s pedigree was assured by his status as a Mercedes driver and sure enough he went on to acquit himself superbly alongside no less a talent than Lewis Hamilton this year.

So having gone down 15-0 and 19-3 against Russell in qualifying over his first two years as a Williams driver, would Latifi fare any better against Alexander Albon? No: Latifi only claimed better qualifying positions than his team mate on two occasions. These were at Imola, where Albon’s brakes caught fire, and Silverstone, where he wasn’t able to suss Williams’ upgrade package in time and Latifi prevailed in a wet qualifying session.

The season began disappointingly for Latifi, who had narrowed the gap to Russell in qualifying over the course of the previous season, but found himself ill at ease with Williams’ new FW44 when the season began. As the year went on, progress was modest at best, though at the finale Latifi qualified just two-hundredths of a second off his team mate.

Albon was seldom headed by Latifi during 2022
But arguably the one-off appearance of Nyck de Vries in Albon’s place showed up Latifi even worse. At Monza, a track the team earmarked as a potential points-scoring venue for its downforce-light chassis, the Formula E champion comfortably out-qualified Latifi, put the car into Q3 and brought it home still inside the top 10.

At the point Latifi was still the only full-time driver yet to score points. He avoided the ignominy of ending the year point-less with a shrewd immediate switch onto intermediate rubber at a wet Suzuka, a gutsy gamble matched only by Sebastian Vettel. Albon might have done the same had he still been in the race at that point, but he’d taken first-lap contact from Kevin Magnussen which damaged his radiator and put him out.

The rest of the season, Albon consistently led the way. He only followed Latifi home once, in the Spanish Grand Prix, where he sustained floor damage, suffered high tyre degradation as a result and had to make an extra pit stop.

The final points difference of Albon’s four to Latifi’s two therefore flattered the latter in a season where Williams struggled to make it into the top 10. Albon reckoned his bout of appendicitis prevented him from participating in Williams’ best points-scoring opportunity of the season, and given what De Vries managed to do with his car that seems like a reasonable claim.

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Unrepresentative comparisons omitted. Negative value: Albon was faster; Positive value: Latifi was faster

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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...

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9 comments on “Latifi suffers heaviest defeat of any driver in 2022 as he bows out of F1”

  1. Yeah, for a 3rd season being joined in the team by a new driver, and one back from a year out of the car, Latifi really failed to show any progress and rightly was sent home after this season.

    I felt there were 2 races where Albon underperformed this year, both leading to damage. But apart from that, he really showed why he was put in the Red Bull a few years back.

  2. some racing fan
    1st December 2022, 23:29

    Of course he did. People make cruel jokes all the time about how Latifi is the GOAT, when what is actually being said is that he is a slow, crash-prone driver who is not good enough to be in F1.

  3. I wonder who would win out if Latifi n Stroll were in the same team lol

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      2nd December 2022, 9:19

      Stroll is clearly better than latifi. He beat vettel about half the time this season. Vettel got more impressive results though.

    2. Definitely Stroll. Yes, he may owe his drive to his father’s wealth, but he’s nowhere near as bad as many on this site seem to think he is. He does at least have a pole position to his name

  4. He got Al-boned!

  5. For someone who ends 21th in a 20 person field it’s bad what do i say i could even beter… when i was young and stil fit the car :)

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      2nd December 2022, 9:16

      It looks like you are talking about de vries as he was 21st.
      Latifi finished 20th and hulkenberg 22nd.

      Not that it makes much difference.

      1. What did he scored points and i didn’t noticed did he beat de Vries as they have the same amount but de Vries did it in 1 race and Latiffi in 23 races so de Vries should be 20th and Lafitti 21th

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