The glamorous streets of Monaco are the setting for the fourth round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, where Nicholas Latifi is seeking to extend his title advantage this weekend.
The Canadian heads to Monaco with a 26-point advantage in the Drivers’ standings after taking three victories from the opening three events in Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Spain.
Latifi has been kept busy since the most recent Formula 2 event with two days of Formula 1 testing in Spain last week as part of his duties as ROKiT Williams Racing’s Reserve Driver.
But with Monaco looming on the horizon the focus is now firmly on Formula 2. “It’s exciting to be getting back into it with Formula 2,” the 23-year-old said.
“Things have been going really well so far so it’s important to continue that momentum – we need to score points consistently.
“Monaco is always a challenge as it’s a different street track compared to anything else. It’s tight, there’s no margin for error, and if you’re wide you’re most likely going to end up in a crash.”
Part of Monaco’s unique flavour comes in the form of the qualifying session, with the usual 30-minute shootout replaced by two 15-minute sessions, with 10 cars in each.
Driving car #6, Latifi will run in the even-numbered group, which includes nearest title rivals Luca Ghiotto and Nyck de Vries. It places an extra emphasis on one-lap pace at a venue where track position is critical.
“For qualifying we have split groups, so the fastest driver from the quicker group will be on pole, then the fastest driver from the slower group second, and so on,” he explained.
“Most of my championship contenders are in the same group, so the level of talent in the even-numbered group is higher if you go on results so far. I still want to go fastest, obviously, but it creates an extra element because if you have a bad qualifying it will hurt twice as much.
“My overall goal is to continue my recent form and extend the championship lead.”
Due to Monaco’s unique timetable free practice and qualifying will take place on Thursday, with the Feature Race set for Friday at 11:30 (GMT +2) and the Sprint Race scheduled for Saturday at 17:15.
Nicholas’s 2019 racing programme is proudly supported by Lavazza, Sofina and Royal Bank of Canada.