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What’s next for Nicholas Latifi?

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Nicholas Latifi Williams
Nicholas Latifi. Photo/PlanetF1
  • Every F1 generation has a driver that is so formidable
  • They set the bar so high
  • Nicholas Latifi is special in his own way but still has a long way to go

Every F1 generation has a driver that is so formidable and sets the bar so high that it appears as though they’re operating in another realm to their competition. By every possible measurable element, Max Verstappen is doing what Lewis Hamilton had done a decade ago and what Michael Schumacher had done a decade before Lewis. Big names like Sebastian Vettel have played their part, resulting in blistering rivalries and iconic F1 moments. Often, the drivers who take up the less glamorous positions at the back of the race can go unnoticed.

Today’s focus is on Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi, who fits the bill of a driver who hasn’t quite reached the same levels as Verstappen or Hamilton but has featured in F1 for years – which is not an easy task in itself. Although Latifi might not be a prominent name in the sport for those viewers who take a casual interest, a recent announcement has caused a lot of people to take a closer look at the former Williams driver.

Making The Grade

Formula 1 is a cut-throat business; Nicholas Latifi understands this more than most. His most recent career move has taken everybody by surprise, but it’s something the Canadian has had lined up for quite some time. While the definition of a strong racing career might be subjective to some, especially when dissecting who is the greatest of them all, there’s no debate that you have to be a highly skilled, elite-level driver just to end up in the starting grid in the first place.

Nicholas Latifi Williams driver

Nicholas Latifi Williams driver. Photo by F1

Nicholas had a passion for karting from an early age, and instead of being poached for the world’s top level of racing like some other top F1 drivers, he made his way up from the ranks of Formula 3 before signing for Williams in 2020. While his last three years in F1 might not be the most notable or memorable, Latifi’s racing career is on hold as he pursues one of his other passions.

The Business of Formula 1

Many people understand the business of Formula 1, the multi-million dollar sponsorships, the global stars who transcend the sport and become the face of it, and the eye-watering sums of money it costs to host one of the big races. What’s more of a rarity is drivers taking a hiatus and deciding to hang up their helmets at the age of 29 to go back to University. However, that’s precisely what Nicholas announced on his Twitter page in July.

Although some F1 fans and fellow drivers thought it might have initially been a prank or that the Canadian had been hacked, it became apparent that he hadn’t been hacked and had already put the wheels in motion to begin studying full-time at London Business School. Like any specialist degree, Nicholas will be out of the F1 for three years, pending that he completes his studies.

While his departure from Williams hasn’t come as any great shock, his career direction is something that has. Still, it has brought words of encouragement from many fans impressed by his conviction and drive to chase his passion, even if F1 driving might have been slightly more lucrative in the short term.

Could Latifi Return in a Business Role?

Nicholas Latifi

Nicholas Latifi. Photo/good word news

Who knows what the future holds for Nicholas? While he might not have had the impact on F1 as he would have originally liked, there’s still no denying his ability on the track. Although he may have captured more headlines for unfortunate collisions rather than podium finishes, we wouldn’t want to relegate his F1 career simply as a series of notable mishaps. Latifi has announced his move via social media but has kept tight-lipped about his intentions. Is he looking to return to F1 in a business management or agent role, or will he get behind the wheel again after three years out of the sport?

As ever, speculation runs rife with F1 drivers, and when they make decisions like Nicholas has, people will come up with all sorts of creative gossip via social media; it’ll soon become clear what his medium to long-term plan is. It’ll be interesting to see him move into the business side of F1, dealing with the corporate behemoths with such a firm grip on the sport.

Maybe he’s pursuing his passion, getting a business qualification, taking time to reflect, and then looking for another crack at F1. Either way, it’s an interesting decision from a unique driver, and we’re sure his days in the F1 aren’t over just yet.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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