The Canadian set the quickest time within the wet-but-drying FP3 session with a late run on intermediate tyres that put him 0.661s away from Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, with the second Williams of Alex Albon in third.
It marked the primary time a Williams had topped an official timed session at a grand prix since Monza in 2017.
However Latifi, who mentioned he’d hoped the rain would trigger disruption to qualifying fairly than FP3 after “we noticed yesterday we had been completely nowhere within the dry”, was unable to duplicate these heroics in qualifying and ended up in twentieth place.
He fell on the first hurdle, regardless of setting a purple first sector, when he misplaced time within the last nook – thwarting a lap he believed would have been ok to get him into the struggle for Q2.
Albon additionally was eradicated in Q1 in seventeenth place.
Requested by Autosport to mirror on his rollercoaster day, Latifi mentioned: “It will have been simply on the cusp of Q2, I feel the final nook I made an enormous mistake.
“It’s a tailwind into that nook, so I do not know if I had an enormous gust of tailwind distinction to the primary lap.
“The primary time I had fairly good help from the rear and the second lap I turned in and fully misplaced it.
“We all know our automobile remains to be extraordinarily delicate in that space, arguably extra with the brand new improve bundle.
“It is irritating to go from… I imply that is literal ‘hero to zero’.”
Latifi was disillusioned that the rain which aided his trigger in FP3 had dried up for qualifying
Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Photographs
Latifi mentioned he had been “pleasantly stunned” to steer FP3, and described it as “an ethical victory”.
“Even earlier than going P1 I used to be feeling fairly good, I simply wasn’t in a position to get a correct lap on the board up till then,” he mentioned.
“It wasn’t by fluke, everybody was doing lap occasions on the identical occasions, on the identical observe circumstances, so we’re clearly getting one thing proper as a workforce there.
“And I am clearly not a nasty driver, I imply you continue to should drive the automobile within the moist and it’s nonetheless very troublesome to drive, so it was a pleasant ethical victory for certain, ethical increase.”
In dry circumstances, Latifi mentioned he had accepted it might not be doable to problem on the sharp finish once more in qualifying because of the aerodynamic limitations of the FW44.
“We’re missing plenty of downforce, there is no secret about that,” he mentioned.
“We’re very fast within the straights, and now we have all of the downforce now we have on the automobile. So we’re fast sufficient as a result of our automobile is environment friendly in a straight line, however as a result of we’re missing downforce!
“I used to be nonetheless fairly stunned to listen to I had a purple sector one.
“However finally at this observe all of the laptime is finished in sector two and three, that is the place it is necessary.”
Nicholas Latifi, Williams Racing
Picture by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Photographs
Latifi thinks that Williams has made “a step ahead” in comparison with the Spanish Grand Prix, the final everlasting venue the place all F1 groups used excessive downforce set-ups, however believes there’s nonetheless a lot progress to make.
“Final time everybody needed to put excessive downforce on a standard observe was Barcelona and we had been method off, right here even with the improve bundle arguably perhaps a bit nearer as a result of it might have been simply round Q2,” he mentioned.
“However we’re nonetheless not the place we wish to be. It is irritating, we all know the place now we have to enhance, and that is all there’s to it.”