Nicholas Latifi took only his second career FIA Formula 2 championship victory last Sunday, with the Canadian dominating the Sprint race from pole position, having finished eighth in Saturday’s Feature race at Spa-Francorchamps.
The DAMS driver belied his championship position by withstanding early pressure from Luca Ghiotto and then pulling away from the rest of the field, winning by more than ten seconds from Lando Norris.
“These races are never easy with the Pirelli tyres, as much as it looked quite straight forward,” said Latifi said in the post-race press conference on Sunday. “The biggest challenge was the first laps as we know the DRS is quite powerful here.
“Once I’d managed to pull a bit of a gap, it was all about managing the tyres. The last five or six laps were pretty straightforward, it was just about cruising in case there was a safety car so I was looking after the tyres.”
Latifi was delighted with the victory after a difficult season to date, with the Canadian having been one of the favourites for the championship heading into the year. He has struggled with the Dallara F2 2018 chassis and had scored only one podium finish before the victory.
“I’m really happy to get the win, especially after a lot of struggles this season,” said the Canadian. “It’s the complete opposite of how it was last season, so to be back on the podium and on the top step feels pretty nice.
“I probably could have won the race by more of a margin if I’d pushed a bit more, but it’s just about the risk management so it wasn’t really necessary – it’s so easy to make a mistake if you have kind of lead and everything to lose.
“I’m pretty happy with the race and the pace, and happy with the double podium.”
Latifi also took time to wish his fellow Canadian Robert Wickens a speedy recovery after his horror Verizon IndyCar Series crash at Pocono Raceway that left him injured and side-lined from racing whilst he recovers.
“I also just want to give a special mention for Robert Wickens, my fellow Canadian – it’s not something you want to see happen to a fellow driver, so best wishes to him and his family, and I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for him,” he said.