F1 | Latifi and Russell Confirmed For 2020

Williams have finally confirmed Canadian F2 driver Nicholas Latifi will partner George Russell at the Mercedes powered team in 2020.

With the fairytale F1 return of Robert Kubica failing to yield the results both parties expected this season, ending with the Polish former race winner confirming his exit from the squad at the conclusion of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Williams have today confirmed the long expected deal to bring F2 driver Nicholas Latifi into the white and blue team on a permanent basis – forming one of the least experienced driving line-ups on the grid next year.

“All of us at Williams have been immensely Impressed at what he has achieved this year in FIA Formula 2, along with his commitment to the team, and the work that he has put in behind the scenes,” said Williams Deputy Team Principle, Claire Williams.​

“Nicholas has become an established and well-respected member of Williams, and we look forward to him stepping up into this new role, as we look to fight our way back to the midfield.”​

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Latifi is the son of billionaire McLaren investor Michael Latifi, and has already enjoyed six FP1 sessions with the car this year. With 2019 marking his most successful season in the supporting F2 category (currently 2nd with one round remaining), the 24-year-old Canadian feels ready for promotion to the top level of open wheel motorsport;

"I'm grateful for the opportunity from Williams. I've had a very enjoyable first year there – right from my first day at the factory. There is a great atmosphere throughout the team and everyone made me feel comfortable straight away. That's important when you're stepping into a new environment.

“I can't wait to take the next step forward as a full-time race driver. I don't underestimate the challenge ahead, going into F1 as a rookie, but I'm extremely motivated and determined to give it my all.
"I'll give maximum effort and do whatever I can to help push the team forward and to achieve results we can be proud of.”

Latifi will join fellow Canadian Lance Stroll on the starting grid in Australian next August, marking the first time two Canadian drivers have shared the grid in almost 40 years!

Do you think Latifi has what it takes to achieve solid performances for Williams in 2020? Let us know in the comments section below!

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BrainsBush

250RPM
Watched most of the F2 races this season and he is also a talented racer and the $$ are very very welcome for Williams. Although I also hoped for F2 champ Nyck de Vries but he (had to) decide for the Mercedes E project.
 

pcraenme

250RPM
Premium
Let’s hope Williams can improve the car for next year with the extra $$, so both drivers can show their skills/talent occasionally.
@BrainsBush, Nyck will be better of driving Formula E for Mercedes and WEC for Racing Team Nederland, instead of driving at the back of the F1 grid.
 
As a Canadian, I'm glad to see two drivers from my country on the grid. Last time that happened, I believe it was the Villeneuve Brothers, Gilles and Jacques (the other Jacques' uncle). Jacques was driving a crappy Arrows and never had a chance of qualifying. (Not to mention he was nowhere near as good as his big brother.)

As for Latifi, I watched his F2 races this season and I have a rather good opinion of him. I'm still on the fence about his overall potential. I think that he will not look very good at first compared to Russell, who I rate very highly, but we'll see by mid-season how good he is. He is improving every year. He did the right thing by spending some time in F2, unlike Stroll who jumped straight from F3 to F1. I'll always believe that Stroll could have benefited from two seasons in F2, but daddy wanted him in a Williams a.s.a.p. Huge mistake. Stroll would be a better driver now, (not that he would be Verstappen, mind you...)
 
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