Nicholas Latifi will make his Formula 1 debut in 2020, but he is confident he can follow in the footsteps of past F1 rookies like Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon, Lando Norris and George Russell.
Latifi didn’t win the 2019 Formula 2 title, in the end finishing in second place, but the Canadian is confident this doesn’t make him a less valuable candidate for Formula 1. 2019 rookies Alex Albon and Lando Norris both impressed in their first Formula 1 season, even though they didn’t win the F2 title in 2018.
“I think even going beyond last year, Charles and Pierre, F2 has shown that it’s a great proving ground for drivers,” said Latifi.
“Drivers who have been able to step up to F1 have shown they can do the job right away, so for sure this brings confidence for me. I hope to emulate that.
“Specifically as you said, Lando and Alex, they didn’t win the championship last year, but they’re still performing extremely well, so I’m in a position where I’ve lost out on the championship unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be capable of doing the job.
“A lot of the grid now is made up of very young guys, which I have raced against. From that side of things, it’s a bit of familiarity. It won’t be as much of a jump at the deep end.”
However Latifi is aware his first F1 season will not be without its challenges.
“I guess racing against the more established guys who have been there a while, I’ve done FP1s so sharing the track with them won’t be completely new, but for sure it will be something cool to properly race with them for the first time.
“Like I said, it will be a challenge. We’re not aware where exactly I’m going to be relative to George at the beginning of the season.
“It’s impossible to know exactly as a team, but I’ll do everything I can to achieve the maximum performance,” concluded the Canadian.