Nicholas Latifi will head to this week’s second round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship eager to maintain his race-winning momentum at the Baku City Circuit.
The Canadian had a productive outing last month in Bahrain when an opening round victory catapulted him into Formula 2 title contention, while a first Formula 1 test of 2019 followed as part of his duties as ROKiT Williams Racing’s reserve driver.
Now with full focus on Formula 2, Latifi and his DAMS team are keen to carry forward the positive momentum at a venue where the 23-year-old has taken three podiums in the last two years.
“I’m obviously very motivated and excited to get to Baku, especially after the success of the first round,” Latifi said.
“For sure after a weekend like that you just want to get to the next one right away. I’ve been keeping myself busy, preparing with DAMS and analysing where we can improve from Bahrain, and I’m excited to get back on track.”
But despite his positive start, Latifi is taking nothing for granted as the season reaches the second of 12 rounds.
“Our confidence is obviously high, and we have strong expectations after winning the Feature Race in Bahrain, but we’re under no illusions. We start again from zero, taking it session by session, and there’s no complacency in the team,” he said.
The six-kilometre Baku City Circuit only joined the racing world in 2016 but it has already earned a reputation for producing drama. It is lined by concrete walls and features a two-kilometre long full-throttle section that has led to some slipstreaming battles and high-speed incidents.
“Baku is a bit of a weird one as we all know – it’s like going to the casino, you never quite know what will happen!” explained Latifi.
“It’s definitely a track where you have to be quick, and can overtake, but you have to be smart, calm and level-headed, keep it clean, and let the results come to you. It’s the fastest street track we have in the calendar, and I love street tracks, the adrenalin you get driving between the walls is amazing. It’s always a recipe for an exciting weekend.”
The action in Azerbaijan will begin with a 45-minute practice session on Friday morning and that afternoon a 30-minute qualifying session will determine the grid for Saturday’s 29-lap Feature Race. A 21-lap Sprint Race on Sunday will bring the weekend to a close.
Nicholas Latifi’s 2019 racing campaign is supported by Royal Bank of Canada, Lavazza and Sofina.