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Nicholas Latifi

Latifi welcomes 'morale boost' after scoring first points of the season

Nicholas Latifi claimed his best result of 2022 so far by finishing the Japanese Grand Prix in ninth position, with his performance praised by the Williams team.

Latifi Japan
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Nicholas Latifi admits that scoring his first points of the season at the Japanese Grand Prix delivered a "morale boost".

The Canadian – who will leave Williams at the end of the campaign following a three-year stint with the team – had been the only full-time driver in the field yet to claim a point in 2022 ahead of the race at Suzuka.

However, after lining up at the back of the grid, Latifi made a strong start in the wet conditions before the race was then delayed for two hours due to the heavy rainfall.

When the event was restarted, a well-timed switch to the Intermediate tyres helped Latifi to move into the top 10.

Williams praise Latifi's performance in Japan

Latifi's drive at Suzuka has been praised by Williams' Head of Vehicle Performance, Dave Robson.

"Both Alex [Albon] and Nicholas had excellent starts and made places initially but were unable to capitalise fully due to poor visibility at T1," Robson said.

"When the race finally restarted, Nicky did an excellent job in tricky conditions.

"He was part of the decision to make the early switch to Intermediates and this paid handsomely as he soon got into a potential points scoring position.

"Although [George] Russell was able to overtake, Nicky had the measure of the McLarens and managed his car really well to collect his first points of the season."

While Albon was forced to retire from the Grand Prix following an incident on the opening lap, Robson was glad to see Latifi have a successful race.

"It was great to be back in Suzuka to race at this superb circuit," he explained.

"As a team we had some ups and downs over the course of the weekend, but we fought hard today and gave both drivers a good package for the conditions.

"It's disappointing that Alex was prevented from capitalising but great for Nicky and his team to score some points."

Latifi pleased with "right decision" at Suzuka

Reflecting on the race, Latifi was glad to have made the right tyre call, and admitted that the points result had brought with it a boost in morale.

"The beginning was quite tricky with the red flag and the delays," the 27-year-old commented.

"We made the right decision to pit straight away for the Inters which was critical in jumping the cars ahead of us.

"I struggled at the end with the front tyres but I'm extremely happy to hold on and get my first points of the season.

"Overall, I’m really happy for the team and it's a nice morale boost."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Do F1's rules on championship points in shortened races need modifying?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key issues from the Japanese Grand Prix, including Max Verstappen's dominant run to his second World Championship, and whether F1's current system of awarding points in shortened races needs tweaking.


F1 2022 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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