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Williams boss explains why Latifi is facing a confidence issue

After a difficult and error-strewn start to 2022, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi is struggling with his confidence behind the wheel, as team boss Jost Capito details.

Williams Team Principal Jost Capito says Nicholas Latifi is struggling with his confidence, with the Canadian having made a difficult start to the 2022 season. Latifi currently sits bottom of the Drivers' Championship with three 16th-place finishes and a retirement, and has not looked close to troubling the scorers. He also made two unforced errors that led to crashes during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend. By contrast, Latifi's new teammate, Alex Albon, has looked far more assured, scoring the team's only point to date this year with a fine drive through the field at the Australian Grand Prix. Capito acknowledged that Latifi's lack of confidence behind the wheel of the FW44 was becoming an issue, but backed his man to come good eventually. "I think it's a heads game, isn't it?" Capito told media including RacingNews365.com . "He is capable to drive very fast and do the same lap times as Alex if he is the right place, I'm sure. "The cars are a bit more difficult and trickier to drive than last year's car, and he has to get his head around it and he gets full support from the team. "Of course, if you have a couple of offs, you have to fight it with confidence, but he will get the full support of the team and we are sure he will get there."

Latifi received threats over Abu Dhabi crash

In addition to his struggles this season, Latifi notably crashed during the closing stages of the 2021 finale in Abu Dhabi, prompting the deployment of the Safety Car that led to the controversial last-lap showdown between title contenders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Had Latifi not crashed, it is likely that Hamilton would have won the title instead of Verstappen, and the 26-year-old later revealed that he received online abuse and death threats in the heated aftermath of that race. Capito has acknowledged the extent to which the opprobrium affected Latifi. "I think what impacted him most last year was the comments and the threats on social media," said Capito. "We helped him to get over that, we try to boost his confidence, we work with him, and I think he's getting better on that. "And he has to learn that and think he's on a good [path]."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Free Practice 3