Latifi could replace Kubica at Williams (3rd Update)
|Canadian Nicholas Latifi|
UPDATE Speculation that Nicolas Latifi may replace Robert Kubica at Williams for the entire Canadian Grand Prix weekend appears to be way off the mark as the team are committed to their current driver line-up for the foreseeable future.
A Williams spokesperson put an end to the speculation and clarified, “As part of Nicolas’s role with us he gets six FP1 outings. Three of these in place of Robert, three in place of George. Nic’s first FP1 outing will be in Canada in place of Robert, his second will be in France in place of George.”
Thus for Montreal Latifi will be out on the Friday morning practice in place of Kubica, but thereafter the Pole will return to the cockpit for the remainder of the weekend.
05/16/19 After two full days of testing, Canadian Nicholas Latifi confirms he will be driving in FP1 on Friday morning during the Canadian Grand Prix.
"I am pleased with the two days of testing and I look forward to my next outing with the team for FP1 at the Canadian Grand Prix," Latifi said in his Williams testing debrief.
The two Williams cars run at the back of the grid, but rookie George Russell has beaten one-armed Kubica in all five Grands Prix. The British team hope to close the gap and they managed to test some upgrades in Barcelona.
"I got to trial some of the softer compounds of tires, I used the C3, C4 and C5 which is fun to push a bit more. I tried some new development items that were brought to the car," he added.
"Unfortunately, we had a problem that cost us one or two runs at the end of the morning and delayed our afternoon session by a few hours. However, we were still able to get back out and do some high fuel running which is good for my experience."
05/15/19 (GMM) Nicholas Latifi is not denying that he wants to get into Formula 1.
The Canadian is Williams' reserve driver, and he has been promised some Friday practice outings in 2019.
Not just that, amid the hype surrounding Mick Schumacher, it is actually 23-year-old Latifi - whose father is a billionaire - who is leading the Formula 2 standings.
And Le Journal de Montreal reported recently that Latifi is first in line should the struggling Robert Kubica be ousted before the end of the season.
"Of course my goal is to get into Formula 1," Latifi said as he tested for Williams in Barcelona this week.
"But my program this year is focused on Formula 2. That is my priority.
"I have to concentrate on maintaining my current form there and winning the championship. If I do that, I think I will find myself in a good position to go to Formula 1 next year," he added.
However, he said there have been no talks with Williams about 2020 yet.
"Honestly, not yet," said Latifi. "The season has just begun and a lot can happen.
"But if you look at the past, and those who won the Formula 2 and GP2 titles, I think most of them found themselves in Formula 1.
"From my point of view, if I win the championship, then my goal is an immediate transition to Formula 1."
|One-armed (note mangled right arm) Robert Kubica simply too slow|
05/11/19 (GMM) The first rumors that Robert Kubica could be ousted by Williams have emerged.
The Pole has struggled alongside George Russell on his return to F1 after an eight year absence with a permanent arm injury.
Kubica, 34, has been questioning whether his car is identical to Russell's, so for Barcelona the pair's respective chassis have been switched.
"I think the differences between the cars was a problem with a sensor," Russell said.
"This weekend I am using Robert's chassis and Robert has the new one."
But Russell remained significantly faster in the second Friday practice session in Barcelona.
"The main problem that I had in Baku is still there," Kubica told Eleven Sports.
As for Williams' upgrades this weekend, Kubica said: "We brought improvements to the parts that we already have.
"Some work and some ... unfortunately we did not achieve the results we expected."
Le Journal de Montreal claims that Canadian Nicholas Latifi, the Williams reserve driver whose father is a billionaire, could replace Kubica before the end of the season.
"According to our information, it is time for major decisions within the British team," the newspaper claimed.
"Apparently Kubica has a clause in his contract stating that he could be replaced during the season."