Nicholas Latifi Profile
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.
Nicholas Latifi 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.
Nicholas Latifi Before F1
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 Net Worth
2020 marked Nicholas Latifi's first season in Formula 1, but the finances he is reportedly bringing to the Williams team are quite incredible.
Australia's AutoAction.com say their sources told them at the 2019 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that Latifi's extremely wealthy father Michael Latifi is paying Williams around €30 million per season for his son's place in the team.
Latifi also brings a series of sponsors with him to the Grove outfit in the form of his long-time backers Lavazza and the Royal Bank of Canada, as well as his father's company Sofina Foods.
In terms of what his actual salary with the team is, Williams are said to be paying him around $400,000 with sponsorships taking his total annual income to around $1million.
Nicholas Latifi Family
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 said to be dating 26-year-old lawyer and model Sandra Dziwiszek, who was seen in the paddock at various points in 2020.