September 30, 2022

In the summary: Nicholas Latifi is being sued to end the 2022 Formula 1 season as speculation mounts over his future.

In short

Latifi: “I will be driving for the rest of the year”

Despite a rocky start to his third season at Williams, Latifi insisted he finish the year with the team. “I know I will be driving for the rest of the year,” he said when asked about his future after Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “I don’t really have a comment on that,” he added.

Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri has been linked to driving. Some have claimed Latifi will make his final F1 start at his home race this weekend before giving way to the reigning Formula 2 champion.

Latifi has admitted his place in the squad in 2023 is uncertain. “I really feel like I’m under pressure,” he said. “I think it would be the same for any driver who doesn’t have a contract for the following year.

“I think the pressure is always there, whether I’ve had good performances or where I am now, which obviously isn’t where I want to be.”

“Obviously I know I have to improve,” admitted Latifi. “I want to improve. I’m not happy with the way things are right now, so I’m just happy to try and keep making progress to improve it.

The development of midfield teams at a crucial time to define the order

Pierre Gasly says the incredibly tight midfield means the next rounds of squad upgrades will be crucial in defining the ultimate order.

“I’m pretty sure every race weekend you can already anticipate which team will be fast, which team will struggle the most,” Gasly said after posting his best result of the season so far at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “But we’re also going to have, not now, but improvements to come, other teams are going to make improvements and that’s going to evolve.

“Because at the moment, we saw it in qualifying, our midfield is obviously a battle between the first four, then there is a universe between fourth place and fifth place, but then five to six teams, all roughly within three tenths, so I think the development over the next few weeks will be crucial.

Drugovich could be ‘a bit more careful’ towards the end of the season

Formula 2 championship leader Felipe Drugovich extended his lead over Theo Pourchaire to 49 points last weekend but admitted it “is still very early to say” whether the title is a realistic possibility.

“There are a lot more points available than what I have in the gap with P2. Theo did a good job and there are also a lot of guys who are coming up quickly behind so we are waiting to see. I will do my best.”

He’s willing to be more careful at certain rounds to make sure he keeps racking up championship points.

“We try to do our best, as always, but at the same time, I think the only thing I could change, towards the end, is to be a bit more careful,” Drugovich said. “Especially in tracks like [Baku] where we have chaotic races.

“Other than that, we just have to try to be quick and that’s it. Once you have a good qualification, everything becomes easier.

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