Williams have confirmed that Nicholas Latifi will not be back with the team for the 2023 Formula 1 season, an announcement that had been expected.
Earlier this summer, Williams extended the contract of Alexander Albon for the 2023 Formula 1 season and beyond. But they have opted to part ways with their other driver, Nicholas Latifi, at the end of the year.
Latifi has been with Williams since the 2020 season when he replaced Robert Kubica alongside George Russell.
This decision is one that had been expected for quite some time, even though Latifi had previously been informed that he still had a chance to return to the Grove-based team in 2023.
Unfortunately, in a series with 20 full-time drivers, he finished in 21st place in the championship in 2020, and that is where he sits again in 2022.
He did score points in two races in 2021 — two consecutive races. He earned a career-high seventh place finish in the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring and finished in ninth in the infamous one-lap Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Williams Driver Academy and Formula 2 driver Logan Sargeant is currently seen as the most likely replacement for the 27-year-old Canadian next year, though confirmation has not yet been made.
If confirmed, Sargeant would become the first American Formula 1 driver since 2015.
Other drivers in contention for the seat include Daniel Ricciardo, who is set to be replaced at McLaren by Oscar Piastri, Mick Schumacher, who is facing an uncertain future at Haas, and Nyck de Vries, who was called upon as the late substitute for Albon in Monza and impressed in his Formula 1 debut.
The fact that de Vries scored two points with a ninth place finish in his Williams debut, six positions ahead of Latifi, might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Piastri himself had been rumored to replace Latifi — on loan from Alpine — before that whole chaotic sequence of events played out and he ended up signing with McLaren before Ricciardo even knew he was going to be replaced.