Skip to main content

It is no secret that Nicholas Latifi's F1 future looks quite dim, with Alex Albon comprehensively showing up the Canadian in qualifying and race. 

Several drivers on the market - most notably, Alpine's Oscar Piastri - will be looking to take the Williams seat Latifi currently occupies. 

Indeed, ahead of 2021 and 2022, Williams had several drivers available. Kevin Magnussen, for example, has spoken about his contract discussions with Williams before 2021. 

However, the Dane revealed that Williams demanded monetary backing for an F1 seat. Magnussen opted against a wild-goose chase for sponsors, turning away from the Grove-based team. 

Kevin Magnussen and Oscar Piastri are regarded as higher quality drivers than Latifi. 

Whilst some might point towards Piastri's inexperience as an issue, Albon has shown that experience is not necessarily a hurdle to performance. 

Additionally, Latifi's start to the season - alongside his rather uninspiring junior career - suggests he is out of his depth in F1's pinnacle. 

Scroll to Continue

Read More

With this being the case, what assets can Latifi provide to bolster his chances of staying in the sport?

Sponsorship has been Latifi's biggest asset thus far, with his financial backing playing a considerable part in Williams signing him initially.

However, a combination of factors will render this quite obsolete. The first is the budget cap, which means Williams can sustainably spend similar sums on development as traditionally wealthier rivals. 

Furthermore, Williams is under new ownership. Therefore, it is now assumed that skill - as opposed to finance - will decide who drives at Williams for the foreseeable future. 

Beyond Williams, there are very few options for Nicholas Latifi. He is generally labelled as the weakest link in F1 and will thus struggle to attract teams. 

With the budget cap in place, fewer teams will turn to 'pay drivers' for a financial lifeline. Even if sponsorship were still a deciding factor - the likes of Zhou Guanyu likely bring more to the table than the Canadian. 

Zhou's start to the season has been acceptable in terms of performance but lack-lustre in terms of result.

Still, even if Formula 2's Theo Pourchaire replaces him, Zhou's sponsorship and - by extension - influence in the Chinese market will make him a more attractive prospect (from a commercial perspective) than Latifi. 

Latifi can still resurrect his somewhat timid start to the season, but the Canadian is running out of time to prove he deserves to be on the grid. Whatsmore, contract negotiations invariably begin in the early days of June and July, so it won't be long before teams and drivers start committing themselves for 2023 and beyond.