Jost Capito talks about the confidence level of Nicholas Latifi after a difficult start to his 2022 F1 campaign after a tough end in 2021.
It is no secret that Latifi is a man who is under fire and is under a certain degree of pressure. It’s been a tough start to the season for the Canadian and his Williams team. It’s new rules and regulations for all 10 teams and 20 drivers. Some have adapted better and quicker than others.
There have been incidents aplenty in practice, qualifying and races hence the jury is out on him just now. There are those who reckon it is just a question of time before Williams part company with him. With the issues he has encountered in the opening four Grands Prix, Latifi, and any driver in this situation is possibly and probably experiencing a crisis of confidence as one problem follows another.
Team boss Capito is aware of the situation and gives a fair and philosophical assessment of how things are. “Of course, I think it’s a heads game, isn’t it? He’s capable to drive very fast and do the same lap times as Alex if he is in the right place, I’m sure,” he said.
“The cars are a bit more difficult and trickier to drive than last year’s car and he has to get his head around it and he gets the full support from the team. And, no, of course if you have a couple of offs that makes… you have to fight again the confidence then but he will get the full support of the team and we are sure he will get there.”
If we include 2021, the season finale saw Latifi play an integral part in the end result of the Championship. He came in for a large amount of criticism from so many different corners, some of this was very unfair and unnecessary, Capito understands he has been affected by it but he notes that Williams have been helping him as much.
“It’s difficult to say,” said Capito. “I think what impacted him most last year was the comments and the threats on social media were really where we helped him to get over that. And think, of course, if he had these incidents for a couple of times that as mentioned before, it’s not just boosting his confidence”.
“But we try to boost his confidence, we work with him and I think he’s getting better on that. And he has to learn that and I think he’s on a good way,” summed up Capito. What has possibly not helped is that new teammate Albon has hit the ground running with some impressive performances so far. And Latifi will need to work with the team as they can help him. Its still only four races down and who knows what may happen.
Here’s Pierre Gasly on getting stuck behind Alexander Albon