Nicholas Latifi’s motivation for his debut season in Formula 1 has not been dampened by Williams’s recent struggles, with the Canadian saying two bad years “doesn’t define what they’re capable of”.

Latifi will step up into a full-time F1 seat for the 2020 season with Williams after spending this year in a test and development role, as well as finishing second in the Formula 2 championship.

Williams has scored just eight points in the last two years, finishing last in the constructors’ championship both times around, and was far off the pace of the rest of the field through 2019.

But Latifi has no qualms about making his F1 debut with Williams next year, stressing his faith in the operation.

“I think going into Formula 1 as a rookie is always going to be difficult and have its own challenges,” Latifi said.

“I think I’m joining a great team for a first year, they have their history of developing young drivers, [and are] one of the most successful teams in Formula 1.

“I think two bad years doesn’t define a team’s legacy, doesn’t define what they’re capable of. So I have complete faith from what I’ve seen so far working in the team that people will get on top of the problem,s and hopefully be back to a more representative order.”

Latifi said he was under no illusions about how difficult it would be stepping up from F2 to F1 in 2020, but already feels comfortable within the team following his string of FP1 run-outs through 2019.

“For sure there are going to be challenges. I’m definitely not underestimating what the challenge of Formula 1 will be,” Latifi said.

“I know I’m going to have a lot to learn, but I have had the opportunity this year to have quite a few on-track opportunities with them. I know what to expect from the car.

“I feel good in the team. Right from my first day, I felt at home, which I think is important when you are jumping into a new team, especially a Formula 1 team.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.

 

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