Nicholas Latifi contract, Williams, news

Nicholas Latifi’s struggling tenure at Williams has resulted in the Canadian’s contract not being renewed for 2023.

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

Alex Albon is locked in for Williams in 2023 and the team will confirm its other driver “in due course”, the statement read.

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“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Williams Racing — all the people back at the factory and those I work with trackside — for the last three years,” Latifi said.

“My initial F1 debut was postponed due to the pandemic but we eventually got going in Austria (in 2020) and, although we have not achieved the results together we hoped we would, it’s still been a fantastic journey.

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

“I know none of us will stop putting in every effort 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 is sitting 21st after the first 16 rounds of this year’s world championship.

His heavily documented crash late in the 2021 title-deciding grand prix in Abu Dhabi led to a barrage of online hate and even death threats, impacting his mental health significantly.

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

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While Latifi hasn’t finished 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 gunning for the vacant seat and has a recent impressive performance backing his bid, having finished ninth in the Italian Grand Prix in Albon’s place.

“On behalf of the whole team, I would like to say an enormous thank you to Nicholas for his three years of hard work with Williams,” Williams boss Jost Capito said.

“He is a great team player who has a great attitude towards his colleagues and work, and is well-liked and respected throughout the business.

“Our time together is now coming to an end, but I know he will put full effort in to maximise what we can do together for the remainder of this season.

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

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