Nicholas Latifi

Points 2 Position 20 Date of Birth June / 29 / 1995
Place of Birth Montreal Team Williams Car Number 6

Nicholas Latifi is a Canadian Formula 1 driver, born in Montreal, Quebec on 29 June 1995.

He became well known in the world of F1 in 2019 as he became Williams's full-time reserve driver, competing in six FP1 sessions throughout the season.

His performances in Formula 2 were also catching the eye as, while he was beaten to the title by Nyck de Vries, he did win four races and finished on the podium a further four times, securing P2 in the standings.

Following his strong season, Latifi was confirmed as a Williams driver to race alongside George Russell for the 2020 Formula 1 season.

While he failed to score points in his rookie year on the grid and was comprehensively beaten by his team-mate on Saturdays, he did show some signs of promise, particularly on race days.

The highlights of his first year included three P11 finishes in Austria, Monza and Imola, with the Canadian himself selecting the latter two as his races of the year. Given he was driving the slowest car on the grid, he was widely praised for his performances in them.

Career

Latifi drove a Formula 1 car for the first time on 5 May 2016, completing 140 laps at Silverstone in the Renault-powered Lotus E20.

His first test in modern Formula 1 machinery came on 17 May 2017 at the post-race test in Barcelona, driving the Renault R.S.17 and completing 141 laps. He would complete another test for the team at the Hungaroring.

For 2018, Latifi became a test driver for Force India and made his debut during FP1 at his home race in Canada, going on to appear four more times in FP1 that season.

He made the switch to Williams in 2019 to act as their reserve driver, getting six more FP1 sessions under his belt.

Latifi juggled his Williams commitments with his F2 duties in 2019 - driving for DAMS, Latifi was the closest challenger to Nyck de Vries in the title fight. The Canadian would pick up race wins in Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Spain and Hungary, but it would be enough only to finish runner-up in the series, while de Vries took the title with 266 points to Latifi's 214.

Latifi's FP1 outings for Williams in 2019 served as somewhat of an audition for the seat which would be vacated by Kubica, and on 28 November 2019, on the final weekend of the 2019 Championship, Latifi was confirmed by Williams as a race driver for the 2020 season.

The Canadian proved his worth to Williams before the season began though, bringing several sponsors with him to the team after they had lost major backers Unilever and Polish oil company Orlen. Through him and his father, Williams signed new sponsorship deals with the Royal Bank of Canada, Sofina Foods and Lavazza.

The fact that he brought so much money to the team led to many claiming that he was a pay driver, but once the racing got underway, he immediately proved that he was ready for the step up, avoiding various incidents and making no mistakes to finish in P11 in his first race in Austria.

He continued to put in steady performances throughout the season, finishing just one place outside the points on a further two occasions and barely making any mistakes.

He did, however, struggle when it came to outright pace, being beaten by team-mate George Russell in every qualifying session in which the two both drove for Williams, and only just beating Russell's stand-in, Jack Aitken, in Bahrain.

Even so, it was a solid rookie season for Latifi, and good enough for Williams to justify keeping him for 2021.

The 2021 season was a slow burner for Latifi, but once he truly clicked with the FW43B, he began delivering the best performances of his F1 career.

His first Formula 1 points would arrive at a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix, where after several collisions at the start and changeable weather, Latifi at one stage found himself running in the podium places.

Although he could not maintain that place, he nonetheless secured a fantastic P7 finish, scoring six vital points for his Williams team in the battle for P8 in the Constructors' Championship.

Latifi followed that up with a P9 finish at the following round in Belgium, where the race was red flagged after two laps behind the Safety Car due to heavy rain.

Although Latifi did not score points again in the season, his performance level generally grew much closer to Russell's during the second-half of the campaign, impressing Williams enough to retain him for 2022, with Alex Albon arriving as his new team-mate.

At the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Latifi outqualified Russell for the first time, also finishing ahead of the Brit in the sprint qualifying session which followed.

He bettered Russell again in qualifying for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, though his race would end in the wall as he battled Mick Schumacher in the closing stages.

That crash triggered a controversial sequence of events which ended in Max Verstappen being crowned World Champion, with Latifi later revealing that he had received death threats online.

History

Nicholas Latifi spent the first three years of his early career in karting before making Formula 3 his first home.

He began in the Italian Formula 3 Championship with Target Racing, claiming one victory on his way to P7 in the overall standings. The Canadian then represented Carlin Racing a year later in the Formula 3 European Championship and British Formula 3 Championship, finishing P5 in the latter competition.

Latifi then switched to the Prema Powerteam in 2014, but was only classified P10 whilst team-mate Esteban Ocon won the Formula 3 European Championship. He also made appearances in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, GP2 Series and the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

The Formula Renault 3.5 Series was Latifi's next main focus in 2015, racing for Arden Motorsport. He would then spend the next four seasons with DAMS in the level below Formula 1 in GP2 and under its new moniker, Formula 2.

He showed his ability to win races in both 2017 and 2018 before launching a full assault on the title in 2019. He fell just short, though, finishing runner up behind Nyck de Vries.

As he continued to ply his trade in Formula 2, he also started making moves within Formula 1 circles. He was a test driver for Renault and Force India before finally landing on his feet at Williams.

Nicholas Latifi comes from a very wealthy background, bringing the financial backing of his father Michael with him to Williams.

His father's company Sofina Foods is his primary sponsor, while Latifi also enjoys strong backing from Lavazza.

He was also sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada, though they are no longer listed in the 'partners' section of his official website.

Estimates for Latifi's net worth place it between £730,000 and £3.6m, with his yearly earnings believed to be around the £730,000 mark, roughly £300,000 of that paid by Williams and the rest coming from his sponsors.

Nicholas Latifi's father is business tycoon Michael Latifi, while his mother's name is Marilena.

His dad founded Sofina Foods Inc., a Markham, Ontario-based manufacturer of processed animal products, in 2006, becoming its Chairman and CEO.

Through the investment company Nidala (BVI) Limited, which is controlled by Latifi, he invested £200 million in the McLaren Group, making him a 10% stakeholder.

Despite this investment though, there has been little talk of his son earning a prominent spot in the team, and McLaren CEO Zak Brown has said this had not been part of any conversation prior to investment.

Latifi is dating lawyer and model Sandra Dziwiszek, who was seen in the paddock at various points in 2020 and 2021.

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