Driver Profile: Nicholas Latifi

NameNicholas Daniel Latifi
Date of Birth29 June 1995
Place of BirthMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Car Number6
First Entry2020 Austrian Grand Prix
Williams’ Nicholas Latifi REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Biography of F1 driver Nicholas Latifi

Nicholas Latifi’s journey to F1 began in 2009, when she competed in karting at the age of 13. The Canadian competed in series in his home country and America until 2012, when he won the Florida Winter Tour Championship in the Rotax DD2 class.

From there Latifi made the move to single-seater racing, joining BVM for the 2012 Italian Formula 3 Championship. A win and three podium finishes helped him to seventh in the championship, before joining Carlin ahead of a full season in the Formula 3 European Championship.

Latifi finished 15th, with his best results being two fifth-place finishes. That year also saw him compete in the British Formula 3 International Series and the 2013 Masters of Formula 2 race at Zandvoort, where he finished seventh.

From there Latifi joined Prema Powerteam for another European Formula 3 campaign in 2014, finishing 10th in the standings, in part due to competing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, where he raced for two seasons with Tech 1 Racing and later Arden Motorsport.

GP2 and Formula 2 seasons

After appearances in GP2 in 2014 and 2015, Latifi competed a full season in the series for DAMS in 2016. His best finish came at the opening race in Barcelona, second, before following that up with seventh in the sprint race. It would be the highlight of his season however, as Latifi managed just two more points the rest of the year, resulting in a 16th place finish.

With GP2 rebranded as the Formula 2 Championship for 2017, Latifi remained with DAMS for the campaign. His first F2 podium came via a third place finish in the sprint race in Barcelona, before adding more podium finishes in Baku and the Red Bull Ring.

Victory at Silverstone was Latifi’s first in any series since 2012, helping him finish fifth with 178 points, just 13 points back of teammate Oliver Rowland compared to his 101 point deficit to then teammate Alex Lynn the year before.

Latifi took a step back in 2018, as he ended the year ninth with 91 points, 121 back of new teammate Alex Albon. A fourth year with Dams followed in 2019, with Latifi bouncing back from his struggles the year before.

A strong start saw Latifi win three of the first five races, handing him a healthy lead in the standings. Unfortunately his form dipped after Monaco, with Latifi failing to finish on the podium again until the 17th round at Silverstone.

In the end, Latifi had to settle for runner-up to Nyck de Vries on 214 points.

Williams bring Latifi to F1

Latifi replaced Robert Kubica and partnered George Russell at Williams for the 2020 F1 season. The Canadian qualified last on the grid in 20th for his first race in Austria, though he followed that up with an 11th place finish.

His best qualifying performance came in Hungary, when he reached Q2 for the first and only time to start 15th. Unfortunately, Williams’ uncompetitive car meant that both the team and Latifi ended the year having failed to score a point.

Williams kept their pairing of Latifi and Russell for 2021. He scored his first F1 points in Hungary, running as high as third before crossing the line in eighth. He was later promoted to seventh after Sebastian Vettel was disqualified over a fuel issue.

His final points finish came at the rain-shortened Belgium Grand Prix, as he classified ninth.

Crash at Abu Dhabi changes World Championship

Latifi’s crashed out of the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix while running 16th, an incident that brought out a late Safety Car. Little did the Canadian know that it would greatly alter the outcome of the 2021 World Championship, with the deployment helping Max Verstappen overtake Lewis Hamilton to claim his first title.

While Latifi later apologised for the incident, it resulted in the Canadian receiving threat and hate messages on social media. He addressed the abuse, which he called “shocking”, via a statement on his website.