Latifi: Any future Williams driver will need 'patience'


Nicholas Latifi says Williams remains a work in progress and as such, any driver looking to join the Grove-based outfit in the future will require patience and the right mindset.

Williams has yet to confirm its 2022 line-up, but pundits believe it's only a matter of weeks, or perhaps even days, until Mercedes confirm George Russell's transfer to the championship winning team.

The move would leave a seat to fill at Williams, and with Latifi expected to remain with the British outfit next season, the Canadian has offered his opinion on the ideal profile of his potential future teammate for 2022, when F1 ushers in its all-new regulation platform.

"Obviously, the speed and being quick is one of the main things, but I think you have to have someone who knows it is still a rebuilding phase," he said.

"Williams is definitely on the correct path to being more competitive and being more in the fight. I think as much as everyone will hope and be optimistic that it will be a big jump next year, it might not be as big a jump as we want.”

"I’m obviously hoping that it will be a massive jump next year, it might not be. If you have a driver who expects to win the championship or win races next year, maybe that’s not the right thing."

Latifi believes that next year's regulation changes might entail progress for Williams, but the transformation will still be akin to a fresh start for the team, which also implies a certain type of personality for any candidate interested in joining the British outfit.

"You need someone who can be patient to work with the engineers on the track and the engineers back at the factory in the right way to guide them, as obviously it’s a new generation of car," explained the Canadian.

"That will be completely different to what we are all used to these past years. So having a fresh mind, an open approach and a willingness to push the team forward is important."

Williams chief executive Jost Capito recently revealed that he had compiled "quite a long list" of potential candidates to fill either one of both of the team's seats.

F1 super-sub Nico Hulkenberg has been mentioned as a prospect for the British outfit, while Mercedes - Williams' engine partner - is rumored to be pushing the candidacy of its Formula E works charger Nyck de Vries.

As for Latifi's chances of remaining with Williams next season, the 26-year-old's points-scoring performance in Hungary last time out nicely boosted his credit according to Capito.

"This was the first time Nicky scored points in F1 – and it had to come," said the Williams boss.

"I’m sure it will be a big boost for him and give him a lot of self-confidence. Qualifying behind George and then finishing ahead for sure is a big motivator for him.

"I was impressed with how Nicky brought it home amid the pressure of running in the points comfortably for the first time. At one point, he was third.

"To keep his head down and deliver was very impressive. It shows how much Nicky deserves to be in F1."

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