Canadian Nicholas Latifi has agreed a deal with Williams to be full-time driver in 2020. That’s the claim of multiple news sources over the F1 USGP weekend in Austin, Texas, where Latifi is taking part in FP1, seemingly in preparation for a full campaign in 2020.
It’s a well know fact that Latifi has the desire and the financial backing to make it to Formula 1, and his current role as Williams reserve driver ideally place him to partner George Russell, replacing the outgoing Robert Kubica, who announced earlier in the season that he will not be extending his deal with the team for a second year.
What has halted Latifi’s progress to Formula 1 thus far has been his failure to meet the required number of superlicense points that would allow him to take a place on the grid.
Latifi needs to finish fifth in this year’s F2 championship to take him over that threshold, something he’s all but guaranteed to do, but for an absolute catastrophe in the final round in Abu Dhabi later in the month.
Claire Williams, deputy team principal of Williams said of Latifi on motorsport.com:
“Despite being quite young he’s very mature and level-headed.”
“His focus this year has been the F2 campaign and making sure he does the best job possible, not just to secure the licence points but demonstrate he’s worthy of a seat in F1.”
“We’ve been really impressed by Nicholas throughout the work he’s done for us whether that’s been in the FP1 sessions or back at the factory in the simulator or just conversing with engineers. He’s been a nice addition to have within Williams.”
However, Williams were reluctant to make any official announcement and Latifi himself remained tight lipped on any future plans, telling Le Journal de Montreal “It’s too early to announce anything.”
Like last year, I’m expecting an official confirmation of Williams’ 2020 line-up come Abu Dhabi.
And I’m expecting that official confirmation to be that Nicholas Latifi will drive for Williams in 2020.