Formula 1IndyCar

Latifi Disinterested in F1 Reserve Driver Role if No Realistic Chance of Race Seat Beckons

2 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Nicholas Latifi would only accept a third driver role in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship next season if there was a realistic chance that he would get a race seat in 2024.

The Canadian will step away from his Williams Racing drive at the end of the current season after three years on the grid after the team opted not to renew his contract, and he has been linked with a potential move to the NTT IndyCar Series for 2023.

Latifi does not want to join a Formula 1 team as a reserve driver if there was not a chance of him returning to a full-time seat in the future, and he is seeing himself racing outside of the sport next year.

“I think the only way I would consider a third driver role is if I saw a realistic way to return to the grid in Formula 1, which speaking honestly and bluntly, I don’t see to be the case,” said Latifi on Formula1’s Beyond the Grid.

“Obviously Alex [Albon] did that last year, so it shows it’s possible. I think he was in a different situation with Red Bull.

“Me personally, just to be a reserve driver without any clear path of making a return, it’s not something I would want to do, because being a reserve driver is not what I see as my long-term career.

“At the same time, if I can’t find something that’s suitable for me next year, whether that means taking a year off to potentially put together something better for the following year, all the options are still open.”

Should Latifi find his way across to the United States and into IndyCar racing, the Canadian says he would want to tackle all races, including the ovals, straightaway, particularly if he wants to fight for wins and championships.

“If I was to do IndyCar, I would want to do the ovals,” said Latifi.  “I wouldn’t want to take myself out of potential championship points.

“Especially if I was to do it for multiple years, if I didn’t do ovals the first year, then the second year doing them, I would still be having to learn and get on top of it.  By then you’re arguably in a position more to fight for podiums and wins and championships, and you’re still at a disadvantage for quite a few races.

“I did have the opinion at one point that they are very dangerous and unsafe. In recent years, less so, but it’s definitely something I would want to do.  I think there’s only four races now where there’s ovals, but I definitely want to do all the races.”

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