Nicholas Latifi believes that he is ready to take over the role of the leader of Williams if George Russell leaves the team after this season.
The Canadian is into his second season in his Formula 1 career. Alongside him is Russell, who might go to Mercedes in 2022. If that is the case, Latifi thinks he is ready to lead the team thanks to the experience he already has.
“Yes, 100%, if George was to leave and I remained, I would definitely feel – well by nature, I’m the more experienced driver in the team and by the very nature – I would have the experience,” he said.
“I think naturally going into next year with the new car and new regulations, it would be a bit different because let’s say, if next year was just another evolution of this year’s car, your experience is more valid, you know the direction you need to take it to develop. Whereas next year you don’t know what you’re going to get. Will you have to change your driving to a different style? The car might be handling different.
“So in terms of leading the team off of the two years’ experience that I have driven, it’s maybe not as ideal as you’d want it to be, but just having that continuity at the team, knowing how the guys and girls work at the track, I would definitely feel comfortable in that role.”
At the same time, Latifi is not sure how much will his 7th place finish at Hungaroring will help him secure a seat for the next season.
“I definitely think the result of Budapest won’t hurt my case, how much it adds to it isn’t really for me to decide,” he commented.
“I think the team knows from behind the scenes what I’m capable of delivering and you could say, arguably, because we’re not in those positions to capitalize on a lot of things, Budapest was a unique situation; I did show I was able to capitalize when the opportunity came which is very important in Formula 1…
“That’s still just one race, we still have a lot of races left from my side to continue to show the team why I want to stay with this team.”