Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Williams Racing celebrates his eighth position. Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday 1st August 2021. Budapest, Hungary. FIA Pool Image for Editorial Use Only

Nicholas Latifi responded to fans criticising his performances, saying that he got closer to teammate George Russell towards the end of 2021.

Latifi and Russell spent two years as teammates, with the latter being quicker than the former for the most part. This was especially apparent during qualifying, where Mr. Saturday was blistering compared to his Canadian teammate.

With the British driver being the more rated of the Williams pair by fans and pundits, the current Williams driver felt he was being overlooked. He said that while Russell was indeed a faster driver, the gap between them was made to look bigger than it actually was.

Latifi responded to fans criticising him, and said that he is happy with his progress.

“Before the summer break a steady growth started, both on the qualifying performance front and in race management,” he told the Italian branch of Motorsport.com.

“These are two completely different aspects, but each driver must be able to combine them very well in order to put together a good race weekend.”

George Russell and Nicholas Latifi at the 2022 car launch. Great Britain July 2021
Latifi (right) with Russell (left). Source: planetf1.com

Progress showcased

“Sometimes in my situation it was frustrating to find myself out of Q2 by a very small margin, sometimes I was really close to George. Then of course he would improve his time in Q2, and at the end of the race his Q2 time would often be compared to my Q1 time, making it seem like a huge gap,” he explained.

“But it always comforted me to know that the team had the picture of everything, and obviously I was very happy to see that before the summer break things improved, and continued in the right direction afterwards.

“I know I had one of the fastest drivers on the grid as a teammate, I think that will be even more clear to everyone next season.”

Read more: Hamilton tells Mercedes he “does not fear Russell” in conversation confirming his F1 stay

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