At a time when his future in Formula 1 seems increasingly compromised, Nicholas Latifi achieved the best performance of his career in today’s qualifying at the legendary Silverstone circuit.
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The Canadian driver will start from tenth position on the starting grid for the 2022 British Grand Prix, which will take place this morning.
Taking advantage, it is true, of the changing conditions of the wet track, the Canadian driver reached the last round (Q3) of qualifying for the first time since his arrival in the main discipline of motorsport in 2020.
Author of 15And best time of the first stage (Q1), which earned him the last available place in Q2, Latifi beat not only Williams teammate Alexander Albon (eliminated in the initial round), but also compatriot Lance Stroll, who died last aboard his Aston Martin.
The right decisions
“You always hope that in the rain, driving can make a difference,” said the Torontonian, who turned 27 on Wednesday. I also have to recognize that my team made the right decisions to get me on track at the right time. “
A few minutes after the curtain closed for Q2, some drivers were trapped by the intensifying rain, preventing them from improving their times and above all from overtaking Latifi.
The Canadian, who will participate in his 49And F1 testing, however, was no threat to his nine other opponents during the final round, where he was notably the victim of a spin. It was attributed to him on 10And best time.
Without the evolutions
The Williams team is among the teams that have made the most changes to their cars ahead of the British Grand Prix.
However, earlier in the week it was agreed that only Albon would be the beneficiary of this new specification.
But despite these alterations, the roles were reversed and Latifi did better than his tag team mate.
“On a dry track, I imagine these updates would have been useful for Alex,” said Latifi.
The latter did not hide some frustration when he learned that he had to drive a car other than Albon’s. At least for the next two races.
What does 2023 hold for him?
While his surprise result at Silverstone today has silenced the crooked tongues, Latifi is aware that this performance – which many analysts have described as the day’s milestone – will not dampen rumors suggesting his F1 career is threatened.
“Don’t believe everything in it,” he said, recalling that some reporters had argued that the Canadian Grand Prix, presented two weeks ago in Montreal, would be the last.
“It is true that I have to improve to continue driving next year,” he stresses. But other pilots are in the same situation as me. The season is still young and I have good hopes of regrouping. “
♦ For the record, Latifi will drop 10And on the starting grid for the second time in his career. Author of 12And in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix last year, he moved up two places after penalties inflicted on Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas.