Whilst Nyck de Vries seized his last-minute opportunity with Williams to finish ninth at the Italian GP, the story at the opposite side of the garage was far less cheerful.
Nicholas Latifi is yet to secure a new contract with Williams and looks unlikely to receive one after his drive in Monza.
Despite his experience with the team, Nicholas Latifi has been comprehensively outperformed in every aspect by teammate Alex Albon, who arrived at the team after a one-year absence from F1.
Consistently lagging behind Albon is one thing, but Latifi’s failure to qualify or finish ahead of Nyck de Vries is near-impossible to forgive.
“I think that’s where the car should have finished [referring to De Vries]. We lost six, seven positions at the start. I think if we were up front, the car had the position to stay up front.
“But our car has never been a car to race and attack with. It’s; stay where you are and use our straight-line speed to defend.”
Jost Capito offered Nicholas Latifi a lifeline in the build-up to the Belgian GP, revealing in an interview that the Canadian could still earn a contract extension.
However, even the relatively low criteria set by the Williams CEO of getting “better with the car” has not been met.
It was evident well before the Italian GP that Latifi has not been performing at the required level, but by securing points at the first time of asking, Nyck de Vries has made it unequivocally clear that Williams must search for a replacement.
Williams is a team with tremendous history, so their decline in recent years has been difficult to observe. If the Grove-based squad has any ambitions of competing further up the field, replacing Nicholas Latifi is almost certainly a no-brainer.
It would be unfair to suggest that Latifi is without any good showings in F1, but even his best drives (i.e., Monza 2021) are performances you would expect from a competent driver in the sport.
The Italian GP was surely the nail in the coffin for Nicholas Latifi’s career, though it is unclear what the next step will be for Williams.