On the opening day of 2020
Australian ROKiT Williams Nicholas Latifi took the time to answer further questions from the media.
How excited are you about your debut as been a F1 driver?
Yeah very very excited. I think when I was announced as a race driver at the
end of last year this weekend seemed very far away, day by day I've been
getting closer and the kind of excitement and anticipation going into it has
been building so yeah excited to be here and just can't wait for the
sessions to get underway.
After testing and analysing the data what is the atmosphere in the team?
The atmosphere is definitely very positive you can feel the whole morale is
everyone's buzzing everyone's excited everyone's coming into the first race
with a lot of anticipation. The feeling after the testing the feeling on
track that was a more positive step forward over last year added to that and
I think everyone is anxious to see where we are actually going to be because
its still difficult to get a read on how much we have improved relative to
I don't know if you know that the NBA has been cancelled. Do you imagine
any scenario without F1 competition?
It is quite difficult to imagine right now especially as me coming in as a
rookie lets say for my first race it would definitely feel very strange that
the season starts off like that. I think we will just have to follow the
advice of the professionals and the FIA is obviously monitoring it very
closely. Should they take a decision like that we would have to trust them
until then just taking all the precautions to try and keep from getting
Welcome to Melbourne how are you finding it so far?
Yeah thank you I am very excited to be here. Honestly its much more city
like than I thought it was going to be. It feels very similar to Montreal
for me so I feel like I am home getting those homely vibes but yeah really
enjoying it so far.
Have you had a chance to walk the circuit and what are you impressions.
Yeah I have done for laps on foot already two running two walking so yeah it
definitely seems like a cool circuit. I have heard a lot of great things
about it all the driver really really enjoy it and its among their top
favourite circuits to drive. It seems like a challenging one from the
experience I have had on the simulator, so yeah I am just looking forward to
going out in FP1.
It must be a real honour for driving for Williams. Talk us through what
that is like and making your debut for Williams?
Yes as you say it is a huge honour to race for a team like Williams. their
record in F1 speaks for itself they are one of the most successful teams all
time. More than that they have a history of giving young drivers the
opportunity to make their debut so yeah really feel privileged to be in that
position. They have trusted me as their race driver for this year so I look
forward to getting out on track hoping to do a good job to repay their trust
Nicholas first race of your Formula career how excited are you now?
Yeah for sure very very excited. The anticipation has been building day by
day. From Abu Dhabi when I get announced last year its seems a very long way
a very long winter lots of preparations behind the scenes and how we are
just a few days away from the race and obviously getting on track tomorrow
so yeah very surreal feeling but I just can't wait to get started.
You are on paper a rookie but in some senses you don't feel like a rookie
because you have had a lot of good preparation both in F2 and F1 cars?
Yeah I mean looking a the F1 side I have been fortunate to have been with
other teams in previous years so I brought in the experience with the tests,
tyre tests FP ones so that this had definitely added to the preparation so
that I feel prepared for my first Formula One race. Sure coming in this year
with less testing was not ideal and you can never under estimate the
challenge irrespective of the amount of preparation you have, the challenge
of been in Formula One as a rookie so I am sure that there are going to be
thousands of things that I am going to learn and pick up on race by race
session by session. But I feel as well prepared as I could be.
As far as the car that Williams has given you is it one that is able to
fight with other cars and fight with the likes of Alfa Romeo, Alpha Tauri
and Haas for some points maybe?
I am really hoping so. Its definitely still too early to say, we will know
in a few days but yeah just from the impressions from winter testing it
really is a step forward and this was great to see right from the first
laps. As a driver you feel much more confident in pushing the corners
pushing the entries attack under braking and this is where you want
especially in driving these cars that are so fast you don't want to be
lacking confidence but at the same time if it feels good doesn't necessarily
mean that it is going to be quick relative to everybody else. So yeah we
will just have to wait until Saturday and see where we stack up.