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Nicholas Latifi leaves Williams at the end of the F1 season | Racing News

LONDON: Canadian driver Nicholas Latific will leave Williams when his contract expires at the end of the season, the Formula 1 team announced on Friday.
Latifi, 27 and in his third season in Formula 1, is the only driver on the current grid to have scored a point in 16 races so far this year. He has a career total of seven points from 55 starts.
Williams, former champion but now last in the constructors’ standings, has already confirmed Thai racer Alex Albon for 2023 and beyond.
“Although together we have not achieved the results we hoped for, it has been a fantastic journey,” Latifi said in a statement thanking the team for its time with them.
“Getting those first points in Hungary last year was a moment I will never forget, and I will move on to the next chapter of my career with special memories of my time with this dedicated team.
“I know none of us will stop doing everything we can until the end of the season.”
Team principal Jost Capito praised a “great team player” who was loved and respected in the sport.
Latifi has also made a lasting impact on the sport, causing the controversial end to last season’s Abu Dhabi title-deciding race when he crashed late and turned the race on its head.
The crash resulted in the safety car being deployed, with a modified restart procedure that allowed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to pass Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the final lap and deny the Briton an unprecedented eighth title.
Latifi later revealed that he received death threats in the barrage of online abuse and hired extra security.
The news of his departure formally opens a new seat in an unusually vibrant driver market, with no shortage of contenders.
Dutch driver Nyck de Vries, the 2021 Formula E champion, replaced Albon at this month’s Italian Grand Prix and outperformed Latifi throughout, starting eighth and finishing ninth on his debut .
However, De Vries tested this week with Renault-owned Alpine in Hungary, and has also had talks with Red Bull who may be willing to Pierre Gasly leaves AlphaTauri for Alpine if they can secure a strong replacement.
Williams already has 21-year-old American Formula 2 driver Logan Sargeant in their driver academy and sees him as an F1 prospect.
Sargeant will join Williams in Friday practice at next month’s US Grand Prix in Austin, giving the Mercedes-powered team a good chance to assess its potential in the current car.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who is leaving McLaren at the end of the year, is also looking for a seat while Mick Schumacher’s position at Haas is uncertain.
Former F1 racers Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi are also potential contenders.

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