Latifi: 'It just didn't work out in the end'

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Outgoing Williams driver Nicholas Latifi likely made his final F1 start last month in Abu Dhabi, and it capped a season that was by far the worst of the Canadian's three campaigns in the sport.

Latifi's three-year stint as a Grand Prix driver yielded just nine points, seven of which were scored in 2021, while he put two points on the board when he finished ninth in Japan back in October.

In relative terms, Latifi was no match for teammate George Russell in 2020 and 2021, and his struggles continued this season against Alex Albon.

By his own admittance, 2022 was the worst of Latifi's three season racing among motorsport's elite.

"I think it’s safe to say it’s been a very up-and-down year," acknowledged the 27-year-old.

"My first two years were… I guess what you can expect, as the first two years in Formula 1: a rookie season is a rookie season.

"Second year, I think there was some really big improvements all across, all around, and I guess this year, as a team, collectively we took a step backwards and I just struggled to get on top of the car.

"[There were] various different issues. Obviously some things in my control, come things out of my control. That’s motorsport, that’s the way it always goes.

"This year I would say ultimately was my worst year out of the three years in what was a crucial year for me to secure the future. So, I think that’s the reality of it. And it just didn’t work out in the end."

Latifi was informed by Williams in late September that he no longer figured in the team's plans for 2023. But the Canadian was still determined to end his stint with the British outfit on a positive note.

However, his frustration extended all the way up to Abu Dhabi.

"Irrespective of knowing if I'm staying or not, I still wanted to do well, still wanted to end each qualifying, each race since I've found out as best I can," he said.

"Just because I've known doesn't mean it doesn't matter. In a way, [there was] nothing to lose, but still a lot of frustration and disappointment in these last six races."

Although disappointed to leave the grid after his "very character-building" time in F1, Latifi harbored no dark grievances against the sport.

"Many drivers would kill to do one race, I've gotten to do three seasons in F1," he said.

"It's been tough for sure. I'm leaving feeling like I wanted to accomplish more. I would have loved to have stayed and tried to improve myself, improve with the team.

"But it didn't work out. I've known that for quite a few races now. And yeah, now time to focus on the next chapter."

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