Latifi: Being flexible key to further progress in F1 2022

Williams Formula 1 driver Nicholas Latifi says being flexible and able to adapt will be key to making progress this year when the new rules package is introduced.

Nicholas Latifi, Williams

The Canadian believes that learning to focus on those qualities was the biggest lesson he took from the 2021 season.

Latifi showed clear signs of improvement during his second year with the Grove team, and was closer to team-mate George Russell in qualifying.

He scored his first points with seventh in Hungary, finishing a place ahead of Russell, and followed up with ninth in the aborted Belgian GP.

This season he will be partnered by former Red Bull driver Alex Albon, who was his F2 team-mate at DAMS in 2018.

Williams team boss Jost Capito has made it clear that there is no number one and that both drivers will have an equal chance to help move the team forwards.

“The biggest lesson learned is just how important it is to be able to be flexible and adapt, depending on situation, the way the car's handling,” said Latifi.

“Especially if it's not the way to your liking, which from a lot of things I'm hearing people saying about [the 2022 cars] can very much be the case, with a potentially more difficult car to drive.

“I think as a driver adaptation is one of the most important skills and qualities you have to have. Because you know that there are sometimes situations when things are not as you expect, when you're not able to predict exactly what the car is going to do, with the way the track conditions are.

“The adaptation is probably the biggest thing, especially in F1, where nothing is ever going to be perfect, the car can always be that little bit better, the driving can always be a little bit better, just needing to adapt to how the car needs to be driven, which might not be to your liking.

“It's maybe not something new, because it's something I've experienced before in junior categories, but maybe something kind of hammered into me again, just from the experiences on track.”

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Erik Junius

Latifi believes that he made good progress in 2021, and can continue that momentum into the coming season.

“I think whenever you're going from your rookie year into your second year of any sport, but I guess in F1 and just racing in particular, there's probably always going be the biggest improvements and biggest gains on all aspects,” he said.

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“Not just the kind of driving stuff, but being in the F1 environment, team environment, being more comfortable in all the situations that you face in F1 that you don't necessarily face in junior categories.

“It’s not always evidenced on the timing screens, but that's not the important thing right now for the position we're in. It's just to continue building myself, my confidence, confidence with the team, and what direction that the team is going in now. It's a very exciting time.”

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