Williams driver Nicholas Latifi has reportedly been confirmed to race for Williams next season.
As reported by the official Formula 1 website, Lawrence Baretto has said that Latifi staying at Williams is all but done. The correspondent stated Latifi has impressed the Williams team enough to race for them next season. Despite his qualification struggles, he has shown good driving performances to stay.
“Latifi has been consistently outperformed by the Briton throughout their time as teammates, he has gradually closed the gap and showed in Hungary that when an opportunity arises, he has what it takes to get the job done,” Baretto reported.
“His qualifying performances need work, but his race pace is strong, and he is well liked within the team. Sources say that, as things stand, he’s likely to retain his seat next year.”
Latifi took his best-ever finish in F1 in Hungary, with a points finish in P7. If Latifi is secured, that’s one of two drivers confirmed for 2022. The other seat is still very much a question. George Russell, the current driver, is heavily linked with a move to Mercedes.
Question marks remain
With Jost Capito, the Williams CEO, announcing that the team doesn’t need money-backed drivers anymore, Russell replacements will be plenty. If he does leave, they can choose from a pool of drivers, ranging from Valtteri Bottas to Nico Hulkenberg.
Bottas could join Williams as part of a swap deal if Russell makes the move to the German outfit. Williams was the team Bottas had his breakout season with, and a reunion would be ideal for the team.
Hulkenberg, meanwhile, hasn’t had a seat since the end of 2019, but he is a highly experienced driver. In fact, Nico and Williams go back a long way, with Hulkenberg securing his only career pole with them. This reunion is also equally enticing, and Hulkenberg could make his comeback if all goes well.