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today is Dec 07, 2022

In the round-up: Nicholas Latifi is sue he will finish the 2022 Formula 1 season as speculation mounts over his future.

In brief

Latifi: “I’m going to be driving for the rest of the year”

Despite a difficult start to his third season at Williams, Latifi has insisted that he see out the year at the team. “I know I’m going to be driving for the rest of the year,” he said when asked about his future after Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “I don’t really have any comment to say about that,” he added.

Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri has been linked to the drive. Some have claimed Latifi will make his final F1 start in his home race this weekend before making way for the reigning Formula 2 champion.

Latifi admitted his place at the team in 2023 is uncertain. “I definitely feel I’m under pressure,” he said. “I think it would be the same for for any driver who doesn’t have a contract for for the following year.

“I think that pressure is always there, regardless of whether I was having great performances or where I am now, which is obviously not where I want to be.”

“I obviously know I need to improve,” Latifi admitted. “I want to improve. I’m not happy with the way things are right now, so I just happy to try and keep making steps to improve it.”

Midfield teams’ development at crucial point to define order

Pierre Gasly says that the incredibly tight midfield means teams’ next rounds of upgrades will be crucial to defining the ultimate order.

“I’m pretty sure on every race weekend you can already anticipate which team are going to be fast, which team are going to struggle more,” Gasly remarked after scoring his best result of the season so far in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “But we’re also going to have, not now, but some upgrades coming, other teams are going to bring some upgrades and this will evolve.

“Because at the moment, we saw it in quali, our midfield is a battle obviously between the top four, then there is a universe between fourth place and fifth place, but then from five to six teams, all pretty much within three-tenths. So I think that the development over the next few weeks, will be crucial.”

Drugovich might be “a little bit more cautious” towards end of season

Formula 2 championship leader Felipe Drugovich extended his lead over Théo Pourchaire to 49 points last weekend, but admitted said “it’s still really early to say” whether the title is a realistic possibility.

“There’s many more points available than what I have in the gap to P2. Théo has done a good job and there’s also a lot of guys coming fast behind so we just need to wait and see. I’ll do my best.”

He is prepared to be more cautious at certain rounds to ensure he continues amassing championship points.

“We try to do our best as always, but at the same time I think the only thing I might change, towards the end, is being a little bit more cautious,” Drugovich said. “Especially in tracks like [Baku] where we have chaotic races.

“Apart from that, we just need to try to be fast and that’s it. Once you have a good qualifying everything gets easier.”

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Motor racing links of interest:

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