Williams F1
ROKiT Williams Australian GP Thursday Nicholas Latifi Q&A
By Andrew Hooper
March 12 2020

 ROKiT Williams Australian Grand Prix Thursday Nicholas Latifi Q&A

On the opening day of 2020 Australian ROKiT Williams Nicholas Latifi took the time to answer further questions from the media.

How excited are you about your debut as been a F1 driver?

Yeah very very excited. I think when I was announced as a race driver at the end of last year this weekend seemed very far away, day by day I've been getting closer and the kind of excitement and anticipation going into it has been building so yeah excited to be here and just can't wait for the sessions to get underway.

After testing and analysing the data what is the atmosphere in the team?

The atmosphere is definitely very positive you can feel the whole morale is everyone's buzzing everyone's excited everyone's coming into the first race with a lot of anticipation. The feeling after the testing the feeling on track that was a more positive step forward over last year added to that and I think everyone is anxious to see where we are actually going to be because its still difficult to get a read on how much we have improved relative to the others.

I don't know if you know that the NBA has been cancelled. Do you imagine any scenario without F1 competition?

It is quite difficult to imagine right now especially as me coming in as a rookie lets say for my first race it would definitely feel very strange that the season starts off like that. I think we will just have to follow the advice of the professionals and the FIA is obviously monitoring it very closely. Should they take a decision like that we would have to trust them until then just taking all the precautions to try and keep from getting sick.

Welcome to Melbourne how are you finding it so far?

Yeah thank you I am very excited to be here. Honestly its much more city like than I thought it was going to be. It feels very similar to Montreal for me so I feel like I am home getting those homely vibes but yeah really enjoying it so far.

Have you had a chance to walk the circuit and what are you impressions.

Yeah I have done for laps on foot already two running two walking so yeah it definitely seems like a cool circuit. I have heard a lot of great things about it all the driver really really enjoy it and its among their top favourite circuits to drive. It seems like a challenging one from the experience I have had on the simulator, so yeah I am just looking forward to going out in FP1.

It must be a real honour for driving for Williams. Talk us through what that is like and making your debut for Williams?

Yes as you say it is a huge honour to race for a team like Williams. their record in F1 speaks for itself they are one of the most successful teams all time. More than that they have a history of giving young drivers the opportunity to make their debut so yeah really feel privileged to be in that position. They have trusted me as their race driver for this year so I look forward to getting out on track hoping to do a good job to repay their trust in me.

Nicholas first race of your Formula career how excited are you now?

Yeah for sure very very excited. The anticipation has been building day by day. From Abu Dhabi when I get announced last year its seems a very long way a very long winter lots of preparations behind the scenes and how we are just a few days away from the race and obviously getting on track tomorrow so yeah very surreal feeling but I just can't wait to get started.

You are on paper a rookie but in some senses you don't feel like a rookie because you have had a lot of good preparation both in F2 and F1 cars?

Yeah I mean looking a the F1 side I have been fortunate to have been with other teams in previous years so I brought in the experience with the tests, tyre tests FP ones so that this had definitely added to the preparation so that I feel prepared for my first Formula One race. Sure coming in this year with less testing was not ideal and you can never under estimate the challenge irrespective of the amount of preparation you have, the challenge of been in Formula One as a rookie so I am sure that there are going to be thousands of things that I am going to learn and pick up on race by race session by session. But I feel as well prepared as I could be.

As far as the car that Williams has given you is it one that is able to fight with other cars and fight with the likes of Alfa Romeo, Alpha Tauri and Haas for some points maybe?

I am really hoping so. Its definitely still too early to say, we will know in a few days but yeah just from the impressions from winter testing it really is a step forward and this was great to see right from the first laps. As a driver you feel much more confident in pushing the corners pushing the entries attack under braking and this is where you want especially in driving these cars that are so fast you don't want to be lacking confidence but at the same time if it feels good doesn't necessarily mean that it is going to be quick relative to everybody else. So yeah we will just have to wait until Saturday and see where we stack up.