06.01.21 NL Blog
2020 in review, part 3: What made me frown...
Canadian racer Nicholas Latifi is aiming to secure the runner-up position in the FIA Formula 2 Championship when the season comes to a close in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
After nine months of competition over 11 rounds, Nicholas enters the finale 10 points clear of nearest rival Luca Ghiotto, thanks to his four wins and seven podiums during 2019.
The 24-year-old is a previous podium finisher at the Yas Marina Circuit. The 5.55km track poses a variety of challenges for drivers and teams, with long straights, heavy braking zones, and an array of off-camber turns requiring maximum concentration.
The circuit also boasts a network of floodlights and the F2 series makes the most of the opportunity to run in cooler temperatures by scheduling qualifying and the Feature Race so they run after sunset.
“I’m looking forward to the last race of the season because it’s been a big break since the most recent Formula 2 race in Sochi – nearly two months,” Nicholas said.
“Fortunately I’ve had a lot of things to keep me busy, like taking part in three FP1 sessions in Mexico, USA and Brazil, with ROKiT Williams Racing. I have also done some training, kept active with some karting, and caught up with DAMS as part of my normal preparations.
“Going into the last race, the goal is clear: to at least maintain my second place in the championship. Abu Dhabi is one of my favourite races to go to, the whole event has one of the best atmospheres. It’s a beautiful track aesthetically, and the fact we get to drive at night makes it unique.
“I have no doubt we’ll be at the sharp end in practice, qualifying and the races. That should enable us to fight for podiums and wins – and it would be nice to get a pole position as well!”
Nicholas has competed in F1’s official feeder series since 2016 and this weekend’s Abu Dhabi round will bring down the curtain on his career in the category.
“I’ve said in many interviews that this is my last season in Formula 2, regardless of how the campaign went. This was always going to be my last year,” he explained.
“As well as runners-up in the Drivers’ Championship, we’re also fighting to win the Teams’ Championship. I’d love to finish my time with DAMS by helping them seal the title. I know how much hard work and effort they put in, so it would mean a lot to give them that.”
Friday practice will take place at 11:30 local time, with qualifying at 19:00. Saturday’s 31-lap Sprint Race is scheduled for 18:45. The season will conclude with Sunday’s 22-lap Sprint Race at 13:30.
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