Williams Racing driver Nicholas Latifi completed 132 laps on the third day of 2021 FIA Formula 1 pre-season testing despite the difficult weather conditions.
The Candian driver spent the whole day behind the wheel of the FW43B on Saturday after test driver Roy Nissany spent Friday’s sessions in the car. Latifi, who will embark on his second season in F1, finished seventh quickest overall on Saturday with a time of 1:31.672.
“It was great to get some proper running back behind the wheel. It was nice to push the car in the dry and knock the dust off from the winter. It was a tricky day with the wind, but it was good to get some running in these conditions as there was lots to learn,” said Latifi.
Latifi experienced a few half-spins throughout the session, especially when he was on the softest compound, C5, on his push lap, but that was quickly aborted when he spun at turn eleven. He then spun at turn one as he attempted to pass a slow-going Charles Leclerc in the Scuderia Ferrari.
“As is normal in pre-season testing, there were a few half-spins as I was pushing to see what the limits were. I think we can be happy with the number of laps we completed today, and we now have a lot of data to analyse to be as prepared as possible for the first race of the season.”
The staggering 132 laps by Latifi was the most anyone achieved on the Saturday session, with Fernando Alonso, Antonino Giovinazzi and Sergio Perez all have full days, with plenty of data collected by Williams as they look to fight for points in the upcoming season.
“We had a busy day, completing 132laps without any major issues. The track changed throughout the day making comparisons difficult, but we were still able to complete some useful work,” said Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams Racing.
“It was good for Nicholas to get a trouble-free day and to experience the car in a range of conditions and on a range of tyres.”
Latifi and Williams Racing turn their focus towards the opening race of 2021 F1 season, which will take place at Bahrain International Circuit, on 26-28 March.