Nicholas Latifi is aiming to shine under the floodlights in Abu Dhabi this weekend when the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship season reaches its climax at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The Canadian’s confidence heading into the final round has been boosted by a positive run of results during his last three events, including a win, a podium and a pair of top-five finishes.
Now, eight weeks since the last round at Sochi, Nicholas is eager to get back behind the wheel of his DAMS Racing machine.
“I’m feeling excited and motivated ahead of the final round of the season,” he said. “There has been a strong upward trend in my results from Spa onwards, and that’s been good for my confidence. Now I’m looking to keep that run going in Abu Dhabi. I’d like to round out the season on a high.”
The 5.554 km Yas Marina Circuit is one that Nicholas knows well. It was the setting for a strong weekend last year, when he secured P5 in the Feature race and P3 in the Sprint race.
“It’s a track that I enjoy and one I feel comfortable on,” he explained. “Last year I was able find a good, confident feeling with the car and I hope to get into that positive window again. The aim is to get the results I know are possible.”
“DAMS is also in the fight for the teams’ championship, so I’d like to help them move up a few places in the standings as well.”
Despite the lengthy gap between races, Nicholas has kept himself race-sharp with two Free Practice outings for the Racing Point Force India Formula One Team at the Grands Prix in Mexico and Brazil, as well as ‘virtually’ lapping Yas Marina in the DAMS simulator.
After a lot of preparation, Nicholas believes he’s in a good position for the upcoming races in Abu Dhabi – which he expects will be action-packed.
He said: “The track makes for exciting racing – and I think the Feature race will be very interesting with Pirelli’s nominated soft and super-soft tyre compounds. The 2018 car is heavier than last year’s, and that makes tyre management more difficult, so I think strategies here will make for a great race.”
Uniquely this season, the 31-lap Feature race will run at night, illuminated by the 4,700 floodlights that line the track. The pre-race Qualifying session will also run in the dark, bringing a different complexion to the challenge.
“This will be the first time I’ve raced under floodlights this season. We qualified at night in Bahrain but raced during the day. Qualifying and racing in the cooler conditions will add an extra element to the performance of the tyres as well,” Nicholas said.
Nicholas’s F2 race weekend begins on Friday with free practice at 1130hrs, before qualifying at 1900hrs. Saturday’s Feature Race starts at 1840hrs ahead of Sunday’s Sprint Race that gets underway at 1335hrs. (Times quoted are GMT+4 / EDT+8).
Nicholas’s FIA Formula 2 Championship programme is proudly supported by Royal Bank of Canada, Lavazza and Sofina.