Nicholas Latifi has vowed to keep pushing for improvement after a disappointing showing at this weekend’s FIA Formula 2 Championship rounds at Silverstone, Great Britain.
Twelve months after a memorable lights-to-flag victory in the Sprint Race, Nicholas was left dissatisfied with two P17 finishes from the third in a series of three back-to-back rounds.
The Canadian said his contrasting fortunes at his favourite circuit highlighted the difficulties he was having with this season’s all-new turbo-charged car – and made him more determined to find a solution.
“The team and I have a lot to go over so I can get on top of this new car,” Nicholas explained. “It’s completely different this year and that has implications for my driving style too.”
After a hectic few weeks, Nicholas and his DAMS Racing team now have a three-week window to review the race data before the next round at the Hungaroring (27 – 29 July)
Nicholas said: “In between these back-to-back races it has been difficult to analyse the previous weekend’s findings because the focus quickly shifts to the next races. That’s especially a problem if you are trying to make improvements and try new things, like we are. The three-week break until the next round gives us more time to reflect and analyse.”
Nicholas arrived at Silverstone hoping to evaluate set-up changes made after the previous races in Austria. However a spin in Friday’s Free Practice session prevented any meaningful analysis.
“We were trying something different to get the car more to my liking,” he said. “We were planning a long race run – eight or nine laps to get used to the feeling and the tyre degradation. Instead, I make a mistake on the second lap, spun, and the engine stalled straight away. That meant I wasn’t properly prepared for qualifying, and although I did a lap that felt clean, it was only good enough for P15.”
“As bad as the Feature Race result was, there were some positives to take – especially in terms of grip. The problem was that I was battling in the pack and on this track all that energy destroys the tyres. I felt good when I got up to P10 but I wasn’t content to finish there. I wanted to get a reverse grid position and I continued to push hard – too hard for the tyres. Having taken too much life out of them I knew it was going to be a very bad end to the race. The damage was done.”
Starting Sunday’s Sprint Race from the back row, Nicholas was unsettled by contact from Sette Camara’s Carlin at the end of the formation lap.
“He ruined his race and took a chunk out of my floor,” Nicholas said. “This is not a track where you want an aero disadvantage. I’m not sure how much it compromised my overall pace but it must have contributed a bit. Regardless, I didn’t have the feeling like I did on Saturday. Now it’s time to have a proper review of what we have learned so far, and concentrate on coming back stronger in Budapest.”