After being denied his Formula 1 debut by the coronavirus outbreak which forced the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix last month, Nicholas Latifi will also having to wait for his maiden home race following its postponement.

The new Williams driver has doubled the Canadian representation on the F1 grid for this season alongside Racing Point’s Lance Stroll but is yet to make his Grand Prix debut because of the ongoing delays to the 2020 season.

While Latifi accepts and supports the decision to call off the Canadian GP from its original date of June 14, he remains anxious to see the Montreal race find a spot on the reshuffled 2020 F1 calendar.

“Fingers crossed the Canadian GP does happen at some stage this year,” Latifi wrote in a statement on his website. “For now, my focus is on training and preparation so I’m 100% ready for when we do get the chance to go racing again.”

F1 bosses have opted to wait until the coronavirus crisis eases before plotting out the new 2020 calendar, with CEO Chase Carey targeting 15 to 18 races this season.

The Australian and Monaco rounds have already been cancelled, while Canada joins China, Bahrain, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Spain and Azerbaijan in looking for a new race date.

“Naturally, I’m sad that I’ll have to wait for the chance to race at my home F1 event,” Latifi added.

“Since I’ve been competing, my ambition has been to represent my country at the highest level. And I’ve been looking forward to June’s race in Montreal ever since I was announced as a driver with Williams.

“But as action to control the spread of the virus stepped up, and other Montreal festivals were delayed or cancelled, the news was inevitable, I guess.

“My thoughts right now are with the race organising team who work flat out all year to put on such a great event. And obviously today’s news is disappointing for the awesome Canadian fans who always turn out in their thousands to watch us race.

“We had some fun things planned for the GP, but we’ll have to pause those for the time being. If I have to wait a little bit longer for a rearranged race, that’s just how it is. Other drivers also face the prospect of their home race being disrupted.”

Currently, the French GP is set to host the 2020 opener on June 28.

 

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