At a time when his future in Formula One seems increasingly in jeopardy, Nicholas Latifi delivered a career-best qualifying performance today at the legendary Silverstone circuit.
• Also read: Stroll will be the last to leave the UK
• Also read: Labbé placed 15th in the Xfinity series
The Canadian will start from tenth on the grid for the 2022 British Grand Prix, which takes place this morning.
The Canadian took advantage of changing conditions on a wet track and reached the final lap (Q3) of qualifying for the first time since arriving in the pinnacle of motorsport in 2020.
Author of 15e Best time in stage one (Q1), which gave him the last available spot in Q2, Latifi not only beat his Williams teammate Alexander Albon (eliminated on the first lap), but also his compatriot Lance Stroll, who was last on board his Aston Martin stood .
The right decisions
“You always hope that riding in the rain can make a difference,” said the Torontonian, who turned 27 on Wednesday. I also have to acknowledge that my team made the right decisions to get me out on track at the right time. »
With just minutes before the curtain fell on Lap Q2, a number of drivers were caught in the intensifying rain, preventing them from improving their times and most importantly, passing Latifi.
The Canadian, who died on his 49th birthdaye Testing in Formula 1, however, posed no threat to his nine other rivals in the closing stages, where he was notably the victim of a spin. He was credited with the 10e better time.
Without the developments
The Williams team is among the teams that have made the most modifications to their formulas in preparation for the British Grand Prix.
However, earlier in the week it was agreed that only Albon would be the beneficiary of this new specification.
But despite these changes, the roles were reversed and Latifi performed better than his tag team partner.
“I can imagine these upgrades would have been beneficial to Alex on a dry track,” said Latifi.
The latter did not hide a certain frustration when he learned that he had to drive in a different car than Albon. At least for the next two races.
What does 2023 hold for him?
While his surprise result at Silverstone today has silenced angry tongues, Latifi is aware that performance – which many analysts have described as the achievement of the day – will not dampen rumors suggesting his career in the Formula 1 is threatened.
“Don’t believe everything that’s written,” he said, recalling that some journalists had argued that the Canadian Grand Prix presented in Montreal two weeks ago would be his last.
“It’s true that I need to improve to continue racing next year,” he says. But other pilots are in the same situation as me. The season is still young and I have good hopes for a new formation. »
♦ For the record, Latifi will leave 10e on the starting grid for the second time in his career. Author of 12e in qualifying for last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, he moved up two places after penalties against Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas.