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F1 | Singapore GP | Latifi has "no regrets" as he opens up on Williams exit: "The performance hasn’t been where I wanted it to be this year"

Talking to the media for the first time since confirmation that he would be leaving Williams, Nicholas Latifi was honest about his struggles this year and why he lost his seat.

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F1 | Singapore GP | Latifi has "no regrets" as he opens up on Williams exit: "The performance hasn’t been where I wanted it to be this year"
Fuente imagen: Williams Racing

Last week it was confirmed that Nicholas Latifi would be leaving Williams at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

Speaking about when he was informed during a media session in Singapore today, he confirmed it happened following the Italian Grand Prix. Latifi admitted he felt it coming before then, however.

“It was officially decided after Monza,” he said. “But I kind of new the direction it was heading in before that.

“I knew that after the summer break we had planned to speak after those three races, Spa, Zandvoort and Monza. Those ones – not just those three in particular – but those ones were all obviously going to be quite important because the team wanted to make a decision after Monza basically.”

“I was officially informed after Monza, but I knew the direction it was going in before then let’s say.”

Latifi is the only regular driver on the grid this year who has failed to score a single point in the 2022 campaign. Only super sub Nico Hülkenberg – who replaced Sebastian Vettel for the opening two events when the four-time World Champion had COVID – has failed to register a point as well.

Regular teammate Alex Albon bagged four crucial points earlier in the campaign and regularly beaten Latifi in his first season at the team. 

The 27-year-old Canadian was open and honest about the lack of results ending his time at Williams.

“It’s a results-based industry,” he stated. “Obviously the performance hasn’t been there this year for many different reasons.

“The team had to take a decision – you know what felt best for them – they had to move in a different direction. It’s very simple.

“I understand the decision. The performance hasn’t been where I wanted it to be this year for many different reasons as I said.

“I have accepted it, and [I need] to just move on with the next phase of my career.”

A seat in F1 next year looks extremely unlikely barring a sudden turn of events. The Canadian is unsure what his future holds at the moment.

“To be honest, it’s still to early to tell,” he said. “Obviously I’ve been thinking about a lot of different things over the past few weeks since kind of officially knowing the news let’s say.

“I have been asked many times in previous years have I given thought to what do I do if F1 doesn’t work out type thing. I’ve always said I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

“It's still too early to tell for me, kind of just evaluating all the options. Not much to go into detail now, to be honest.”

Despite many hours of driving on the simulator and giving it absolutely everything he had to improve, things just didn’t fall into place for Latifi with the FW44.

Latifi says he will have no regrets as he tried his best to maximise his performance.

“I’m definitely satisfied with what I did in that sense,” he said. “In a way, it’s kind of made it easier to accept the decision because I don’t really have any regrets about how I went about doing the work on the track or off the track.

“It just didn’t work out. No regrets from my side. If I had to do it again, I probably wouldn’t have done anything different.”

Following the withdrawal of Alex Albon for the Italian Grand Prix, Nyck de Vries took the opportunity that came his way by beating Latifi in qualifying and the race. The Dutch driver finished a spectacular P9 on his debut.

Latifi is sure that Monza didn’t make a difference to the decision Williams took.

“No. To be honest, I don’t think so,” he said. “It didn’t matter who was in the other car. I think regardless the results wasn’t there from my side.

“It was never going to be one race that was going to make the difference. To be honest – even if I scored points in Monza – I don’t believe it would have made a difference.”

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