Nicholas Latifi contract, Williams, news

The difficult appointment of Nicholas Latifi at Williams has meant that the Canadian’s contract for 2023 has not been renewed.

Williams revealed in a statement Friday night (AEST) that the team and Latifi, 27, would part ways at the end of the 2022 world championship.

Alex Albon has been locked up for Williams in 2023 and the team will confirm his other driver “in due course”, the statement said.

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“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Williams Racing – all the people at the factory and those I work with on the track – for the past three years,” said Latifi.

“My first F1 debut was postponed due to the pandemic, but in the end we started in Austria (in 2020) and although we didn’t get the results we hoped for together, it has still been a fantastic journey.

“Getting those first points in Hungary last year was a moment I will never forget, and I will move on to the next chapter of my career with special memories of my time with this dedicated team.

“I know none of us will stop doing everything we can until the end of the season.”

Latifi has managed to score just seven World Championship points from 55 Grand Prix starts.

He finished 21st in the drivers’ standings in 2020, finished 17th in 2021 and stands 21st after the first 16 rounds of this year’s World Championship.

His heavily documented crash late in the 2021 title-defining Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi sparked a barrage of online hatred and even death threats, significantly impacting his mental health.

Latifi even hired bodyguards for a trip to London with his partner.

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Although Latifi did not finish a race higher than 12th this season, teammates Albon and Nyck de Vries have both scored points for Williams.

Test and reserve driver de Vries is aiming for the vacant seat and recently put in an impressive performance in support of his bid, after finishing ninth in the Italian Grand Prix replacing Albon.

“On behalf of the entire team, I would like to say a huge thank you to Nicholas for his three years of hard work at Williams,” said Williams boss Jost Capito.

“He is a great team player with a great attitude to his colleagues and work, and he is loved and respected throughout the company.

“Our time together is now coming to an end, but I know he will do everything he can to get the most out of our team for the rest of this season.

“We wish him all the best for his future, both in and out of the cockpit.”

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