Nicholas Latifi

Nicholas Latifi
Country: 
Full Name: 
Nicholas Latifi
Birth Date: 
29 June, 1994
Birth Place: 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Driver Status: 
Current
Driver Height: 
185cm
Driver Weight: 
74kg
17
Races
0
Wins
0
Poles
0
Titles

Nicholas Latifi Biography

Nicholas Latifi - Williams Racing F1 Driver

Nicholas Latifi Career Overview and Fast Links

  • Career Overview

  • 2021 Williams F1 Team Launch

  • Pre-F1 Career

  • F1 Williams (2020, 2021)

  • Fast Facts

Nicholas Latifi F1 Career Overview

Nicholas Latifi will compete with the Williams Racing team in the 2021 F1 World Championship for what will be his second season in both the top flight and with the team.

After making his debut in F1 in 2020, Latifi - one of two Canadians on the 2021 F1 grid - gets a second year alongside George Russell in the iconic British outfit, despite being the only full-time driver not to score a point last season.

A prolific figure in the junior motorsport ranks, Latifi took a somewhat convoluted route towards the top with stints in series as diverse as F3, GP2, F2, Formula Renault 3.5 and Porsche Carrera Cup between 2012 and 2019 before making his F1 debut in 2020.

Prior to making his F1 debut Latifi tested with Renault, Force India and Williams before landing a race seat with the latter, which was also preceded by him finishing runner-up to Nyck de Vries in F2.

To date [March 2021] has started 16 F1 races and is yet to score a point.

Nicholas Latifi Net Worth: $2 million (source)

Nicholas Latifi Driver Salary: $1 million (source)

*third-party source

2021 Williams F1 Team Launch

Nicholas Latifi - Route to F1

Beginning his racing career in karting in 2009, Latifi was runner-up in the Canadian National Karting Championship before moving on to the neighbouring United States karting scene.

He made his car racing debut at F3 level in 2012, competing in the Italian national championship and taking a victory on the way to seventh in the overall standings, just behind Sergey Sirotkin, who held his Williams F1 seat two years prior to Latifi’s debut.

F3

After his taste of success in Italy, Latifi was hired by Carlin for the 2013 for a dual-campaign in both the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and the British F3 International Championship.

Both campaigns proved to be modestly successful, Latifi picking up a handful of points’ finishes on European soil with a best of fifth place en route to 14th overall, while a sole podium on British ground secured him fifth in the final classification.

Switching to the series dominant Prema Powerteam for the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Latifii would be automatically measured as a title contender as a result but while his form did improve, his success was limited to a single podium in the opening round at Silverstone and he ended up 10th overall. He’d go on to finish fifth in the season-ending blue riband Macau Grand Prix.

Formula Renault 3.5 Series

Making his debut in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series towards the end of the 2014 season with Tech 1 Racing - picking up a podium in the final race of the year - Latifi made the full-time switch for 2015 with Arden Motorsport

But in a competitive series that saw Oliver Rowland stroll to the title, the Canadian could only peak with a best of fourth position on his way to tenth in the standings. 

GP2 - F2

Latifi would go on to make his full-time GP2 Series debut the following year in 2016, having previously started nine races over the course of the 2014 and 2015 campaigns (two with Hilmer Motorsport and seven with MP Motorsport).

Getting a shot with the crack DAMS outfit - driver and teams’ champions in 2014 with Jolyon Palmer - alongside Alex Lynn, things looked bright for the Canadian as he notched up his best-ever result in continental competition with a run to second position in the season opening Feature Race at Catalunya.

It proved to be something of a false dawn for Latifi though with only three modest point-scoring finishes thereafter, the Canadian ending up down in the 16th overall having scored 20 of his eventual 23 point total in the opening round.

Nonetheless, the relationship with DAMS remained strong (he would spend four seasons with the French team) and a second season in the feeder series, having now morphed into Formula 2, delivered more encouraging results. He was back on the podium - again at Catalunya - by Round 2, a feat he would repeat on three more occasions before finally securing his maiden win in the Silverstone Sprint Race. Four more podiums lifted Latifi to fifth position by the season’s end.

A third year with DAMS earned him status as a title favourite but it would prove a trying campaign, Latifi showing consistency but having to wait until Round 18 in the Spa-Francorchamps Sprint Race to return to the top of the podium. One more podium in Sochi brought him ninth overall.

Despite this, Latifi was beginning to catch the eye of prospective F1 teams. Having been enlisted briefly into the Renault Junior programme, Latifi made his F1 test debut with Force india/Racing Point, which led to six Friday FP1 outings, starting with his home GP in Canada.

A fourth year in F2 ramped up the expectation of a title tilt and Latifi was more convincing, winning three of the opening five races to establish a sizeable lead. However, while he won again later in the year in Hungary, the more consistent and similarly quick Nyck de Vries would ultimately overhaul him for the title.

It was during this year though that Latifi began his association with Williams as its official test and reserve driver behind George Russell and Robert Kubica. He took part in six more FP1 sessions for the team.

Nicholas Latifi F1 Career

Nicholas Latifi 2020 F1 Results Overview
Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes
-Races16
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish11th (Austrian GP, Italian GP, Emilia Romagna GP)
-2020 F1 Points0 Points
-2020 F1 Championship Standing21st

With Kubica unable to pose much of a challenge to Russell in identical machinery, as expected Williams turned to Latifi to replace the Pole for the 2020 F1 World Championship season. 

The only rookie on the entry list, Latifi faced a steep learning curve in an outfit that was resoundingly the slowest of the ten on the teams on the grid the previous year, while he also had to contend with a highly-touted team-mate wringing the best from the restrictive machinery.

Latifi’s preparations weren’t helped when the start of the season was delayed by several months due to COVID-19, with his first outing in the Williams FW43 since March’s pre-season testing coming on the Austrian Grand Prix opening weekend in July.

Though the car was certainly quicker than it had been in 2019, Latifi struggled to make the best of his situation beyond the odd instance of getting the car off the back row in qualifying. However, he was consistent, reaching the chequered flag on all but three occasions.

While he came close on occasion - finishing just outside the points in 11th on three occasions - Latifi couldn’t break into the points, at least matching Russell who couldn’t do the same when driving the Williams. However, the Briton would out-qualify him in all 16 races.

Nicholas Latifi will race with Williams Racing in the 2021 F1 World Championship

With preparations for his rookie campaign hampered by the COVID crisis, which in turn led to an exhaustive schedule on a number of circuits he didn’t know, Latifi was thus retained by Williams for the 2021 F1 season.

Latifi’s stay of execution brings familiarity to a team otherwise in a state of flux;, this is the first full year in F1 for Williams’ new owners - Dorilton Capital - after it successfully completed a buyout of the team on the weekend of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. 

Resulting in both Sir Frank Williams and erstwhile team principal Claire Williams stepping down from their positions, it means the Williams family is no longer involved in the team, though the name will remain for the time being. 

Nicholas Latifi Fast Facts

  • Nicholas Latifi was the only rookie to compete in the 2020 F1 World Championship

  • Despite being out-performed by George Russell with a qualifying record of 15-1, Latifi would have likely been classified ahead of him the standings had the Briton not had an outing with Mercedes as he held a better countback record of three 11th places (to Russell’s one)

  • Latifi is the son of Michael Latifi, who owns the Sofina Foods group, the logo of which has run on the Williams car