Formula 1

Latifi will miss Russell as reference at Williams F1 in 2022

Russell moves to the works Mercedes team next season, and will be replaced at the Grove outfit by former Red Bull Racing driver Alex Albon.

Latifi, who has spent two seasons alongside former F2 rival Russell, has bolstered his reputation with some strong recent showings relative to his highly-rated team-mate.

The Canadian says that Russell has been a great benchmark to measure himself against every weekend, making him a stronger F1 driver as a result.

“Obviously, I think George has been a great reference to have,” said Latifi.

“I mean he’s someone that you know who nine times out of 10, or maybe even nine and a half times out of 10, is always going to get very close to the maximum out of the car in a lot of the sessions, and in qualifying in particular.

“So that’s not to say that I don’t think my new team-mate won’t be capable of doing the same, but I think that reference has been quite strong, so it’s obviously been something quite beneficial for me to learn from, especially as I’m early in my career, just as he is.

“But it’s obviously nice to have that that reference, and obviously it’s good when you’re pushing him and going quicker than him. But likewise when it’s the other way around, then you’re just learning and speeding up that learning curve.”

Nicholas Latifi, Williams at the press conference

Nicholas Latifi, Williams at the press conference

Photo by: FIA Pool

After a strong run of weekends including Latifi had a frustrating outing at the last event in Turkey, with a first lap spin ruining what was his first fully wet F1 race.

However he was no disheartened by the experience, noting that he had shown good pace throughout the weekend.

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“The momentum has kind of been coming from the performance, not so much the results and the outcome. I think the performance was still there in qualifying, and I think the race pace was very strong. I would easily have been in Q2 if we did a lap in the last three minutes.

“The outcome is not there, but the performance and that momentum is still there, and that’s what I need to focus on, to continue that.”

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