Latifi will race in entrance of his residence crowd at Canada F1’s venue – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – for the primary time in his profession nevertheless it could be his final.
On account of the coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian GP was cancelled within the final two years that means it’s the primary race in Montreal since 2019.
Latifi’s future with Williams past 2022 could be very unsure with a number of studies linking reigning F2 champion Oscar Piastri with the Grove-based outfit, whilst early as subsequent month’s British Grand Prix.
Regardless of his important monetary contribution to the workforce – his father, Michael Latifi, is the proprietor, chairman and CEO of Canadian meals firm Sofina Meals Inc, with a reported web value of over £2.0bn, the writing is on the wall for Latifi as he’s didn’t make the step up within the wake of George Russell’s departure from the workforce.
Whereas it was clear that Russell had a major efficiency benefit over Latifi throughout their two seasons collectively, the Canadian carried out solidly, significantly on race day within the second half of 2021.
He scored Williams’ first factors – out-racing Russell – on the Hungarian Grand Prix after which was unlucky to overlook out on one other high 10 end in Italy resulting from an premature Digital Security Automobile.
Sadly for Latifi, his error on the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix handed Max Verstappen the title, however let’s not get into that.
Latifi would have a brand new teammate within the type of Alex Albon, who spent the final 12 months on the sidelines after being dropped by Pink Bull.
Even regardless of Albon’s lack of expertise within the workforce, he shortly ascended to being Williams’ lead driver with a run of excellent efficiency, together with high 10 finishes in Australia and Miami.
As Albon thrives, Latifi has struggled significantly, taking a step again relative to 2021.
He crashed twice through the Jeddah weekend earlier than being concerned in an avoidable collision with fellow countryman, Stroll.
Latifi has nonetheless but to out-qualify Albon this 12 months, whereas he has defeated the Thai driver simply as soon as (Spain) on race day.
What has gone for Latifi unsuitable in F1 2022?
The Williams is a difficult automotive to drive with the FW44 having the least downforce of any automotive on the grid.
A insecurity resulting from an absence of downforce is accountable, in accordance with Williams’ Dave Robson.
“Typically, I believe nonetheless he’s simply nonetheless missing a little bit of confidence and simply tuning the set-up to the tyres at every circuit to provide him the arrogance he wants,” Robson stated through the Monaco GP weekend.
“I believe finally in qualifying, he simply did not fairly get the arrogance to get sufficient entrance wing, so sufficient aero stability within the automotive. So I believe that was most likely what occurred right here.”
In the end, with out a important turnaround in efficiency within the upcoming grands prix, Latifi’s F1 profession appears to be like unsalvageable with Piastri ready within the wings for 2023.
Canada’s different F1 contender’s future does look safer, though that’s not completely all the way down to efficiency.
Lawrence Stroll’s robust choice
A number of podium finishes and one F1 pole place to his title – Stroll’s CV on paper is a good one.
Along with his billionaire father Lawrence Stroll proudly owning the Aston Martin workforce, Lance’s future with the workforce is successfully safe.
His web value is $2.9bn (£2.4bn), making his cash within the style business earlier than taking up Aston Martin in 2020.
Similarly to Latifi, Stroll has regressed in comparison with final 12 months with the hole between himself and four-time champion teammate Sebastian Vettel solely widening.
Vettel received the qualifying battle 14-8 in 2021; 12-10 in Stroll’s favour on race day although.
In comparison with this 12 months, it’s 5-1 over one lap; 4-2 on race day – each in Vettel’s favour.
Because the introduction of Aston Martin’s Pink Bull-like improve package deal in Spain, Vettel has established himself as an everyday factors scorer with back-to-back high 10 finishes in Monaco and Baku.
However, Stroll has endured two torrid weekends with back-to-back Q1 exits.
His Baku weekend was borderline beginner, with Stroll crashing twice in two laps as he certified nineteenth.
Even regardless of his wavering performances, it’s unlikely his place inside the workforce is beneath any menace.
Sergio Perez obtained the chop on the finish of 2020 at Vettel’s expense, whereas studies over the previous couple of months – earlier than Vettel’s revival – linked Fernando Alonso with the German’s seat, quite than Stroll’s.
If Stroll senior has severe ambitions of taking the workforce to glory within the close to future, then changing Stroll needs to be a high precedence, significantly if his poor kind continues.
With Pierre Gasly probably out there on the finish of the 12 months, a Vettel-Gasly line-up could be formidable.
F1’s return to Canada needs to be an thrilling one with the enduring Circuit Gilles Villeneuve offering nice motion through the years.
Sadly for the natives, neither of their native stars will probably have a homecoming to have fun.