Nicholas Latifi admits that a lack of confidence in his Williams car has left him with a "very dangerous" feeling, not in terms of safety but in his level of trust in the FW44.
The Canadian has had a difficult start to the 2022 season, and is yet to record a finish higher than 16th. Meanwhile, teammate Alex Albon scored the team's first point of the year at the Australian Grand Prix.
Latifi says that he has not felt at one with the car since the second race of the campaign in Saudi Arabia.
"Since Saudi, I just haven't had a great feeling with the car, even before the crashes," Latifi told media, including RacingNews365.com, after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
"Any driver will say, when you don't trust the car underneath you [or] what its going to do, it's going to be a very dangerous thing.
"Obviously [in saying] dangerous I don't mean in the aspect of safety, I mean in terms of the car catching you off, having incidents and just not being comfortable to push to the limit.
"Even when the pace is relatively okay, or strong, it's not necessarily that I still have the feeling like, 'Okay, I'm happy with the way I feel'.
"I think that's something that'll just come with time, so, in that sense, [I'm] happy to do all the laps of a very tricky condition race, so I'll take those positives."
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Latifi: Albon is more comfortable with the car
Whilst Latifi continues to struggle with Williams' 2022 challenger, he acknowledges that new teammate Albon is adapting to it more easily.
When asked where specifically he is lacking confidence, Latifi explained: "It's everywhere. As soon as you're not flat out on the straights, that's when it starts.
"Obviously, Alex is clearly more comfortable with the car. Regardless of the pace of the car, we know we're missing downforce, we know we're struggling with balance issues. This is clear.
"But he's doing a better job of managing it, so I have to get to that level. For me, it is just a pure feel and confidence thing with the car. It's not a driving style, [where] I'm braking too late, not carrying enough speed, this and that.
"Because, if you don't feel the confidence of the car, you can't begin to work on the more technical aspects when you eventually will have to work on those things, but that'll always be the case.
"So, confidence first, and then everything else is secondary, really."
How the problem can be addressed
In terms of whether he has to adapt to fit with the FW44 more, or vice versa, Latifi believes that a mixture of the two may be needed for his confidence in the car to grow.
"It's going to be a bit of both," he commented.
"Obviously, if one driver on the other side of the garage is not happy with the handling of the car, but at least able to manage it better, you can say that I definitely need to try and get to that level.
"And that is for sure the case but, since Saudi, that's not happening. Each lap I do, I honestly don't feel it's making any progress.
"Okay, today [at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix] maybe feels [like] a bit of progress, because you have so many laps with really tricky conditions. So, there could definitely be some changes to make to maybe bring it a little bit more to me.
"Not in the sense of stabilising the car, because that's not what we need to do. We did that in Australia, and it didn't work. So there's the other parameters you could play with, maybe to try and have a more forgiving car.
"So yeah, that's something to think about going forward."
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