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Williams-bound Latifi bids emotional goodbye to F2

Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Filed on December 1, 2019
Latifi will now switch focus to next F1 season. - Reuters

The 24-year-old Canadian Driver said he has been through 'all the highs and lows' in past few years and learnt key lessons.

Nicholas Latifi was like a student on the last day of school. The 24-year-old driver had just secured his career-best second-place finish in the Formula 2 Championship in Abu Dhabi and graduated to rub shoulders with the big boys of F1 with Williams but Latifi was heavyhearted.

Right after the Sprint Race at Yas Marina Circuit, the Canadian recounted his days at karting, GP2, F3 and felt much grateful for his four-year association with F2 team DAMS - during which he got opportunities to test drive for Renault and Racing Point. He is now the only driver from 2019 F2 Championship season to enter the 2020 F1 scene. And he is doing that having steered DAMS to the team title.

"I'm disappointed to have lost out in the championship but extremely happy to have secured the next best thing, and more importantly the teams' championship this weekend, which was in the back of my mind knowing that I'm going to be leaving DAMS. In any kind of relationship four years is a long time, especially in racing where everyone is so close and tight-knit. It was a difficult mid-season for everyone with the passing of our team boss (Jean-Paul Driot). I wish he could have been here to celebrate with us," he said.

Latifi said he has been through 'all the highs and lows' in past few years and learnt key lessons.

"F2 and obviously my first year in GP2 has been a very important part of my career. It's where I've learnt the most about myself as a driver and a human being. I've had to dig myself out of some very difficult situations."

Latifi wrapped by paying tribute to Driot, who passed away in August. "Jean-Paul Driot took a big risk on me in 2016 when I first joined them. They worked so hard. I just can't thank them enough."

And Latifi will now switch focus to next F1 season. "I will sit down with my personal team and Williams as well to decide the targets and expectations for next year. There will be targets for sure."

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


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