The 2022 Austrian Grand Prix was a milestone moment for our very own Nicholas Latifi who reached 50 starts in Formula One.
Our Canadian made his debut at this very venue and returned last weekend to record a half-century, so we thought it only fitting to look back at some of his best moments in the top tier of motorsport.
After making the long trip Down Under, the world suddenly ground to a halt in March 2020 and the F1 season was put on hold.
As the only rookie in the 2020 field, Nicky would have to wait until the first weekend of July that year to finally tick off his debut, and he’d enjoy a solid race.
Starting from the back, he kept his nose clean during a hectic Grand Prix that featured three full Safety Car periods to eventually cross the line in P11, a little over six seconds away from a points finish in his maiden outing.
Points in Budapest
The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix was a hectic afternoon, but the team left Budapest with a double-points finish for the first time in almost three years.
A multi-car collision at the first corner in damp conditions took many at the top end of the field out, whilst our pair of Nicky and George Russell tip-toed through the debris ahead of a red flag.
At the restart, our duo dived into the pit to fit dry tyres, immediately putting us in a strong position at the Hungaroring, an infamously tough venue to overtake at.
Our No6 finished P8, with George just behind him, both of their first points for the team and it would get better still.
A disqualification for Sebastian Vettel bumped them both up one spot, meaning Nicky took home six points for his P7.
Back to back
F1 returned from its 2021 summer break by heading to the sun-soaked Spa Francorchamps… ah.
The rain, well it never really stopped, did it? But this presented an opportunity for the team and whilst George might have stolen the headlines, Nicky managed to achieve his best qualifying result too, placing his FW43B in P11.
Sunday gave us the race that never was, but grid penalties and misfortune on formation laps saw Nicky eventually start from P9, and after a handful of laps behind the Safety Car, this was where he’d eventually be classified.
Half points were awarded and our No6 pocketed a single point. Much like London buses, you wait a while for your first points finish in the sport and two come along at once.
Ticking off that home race
There’s nothing like feeling the love from your home fans and for Nicky, he was supposed to experience this just nine races into his opening season.
But the pandemic had other ideas, meaning he’d have to wait until his third season to return to race in Montreal. Not only was it his first F1 race in Canada, but his first car race too, having moved to Europe in his junior years to pursue his motorsport dream.
It was well worth the wait, as fans clambered for autographs and selfies with the home hero from his arrival at the airport right through the end of Grand Prix Sunday.
Finishing in P16 wouldn’t have been what he was dreaming of the night before, but he admitted it had been a realistic expectation, and it didn’t dampen his spirits after a memorable week.
Let’s just not talk about any groundhogs.
As previously mentioned, Nicky’s best qualifying result had been P11. Well, that all changed last time out in Silverstone.
In the typical British summertime weather, he aced the conditions and produced laps when it mattered to him into Q3 for the very first time.
There were celebrations in the garage too, as well as a message over the airwaves from the boss.
In the race, Nicky would spend the vast majority of the Grand Prix competing in the points but would ultimately slip to P12 whilst nursing damage to his floor.
It gave him a wonderful confidence boost going into his 50th race start, which came shortly before he too gets the updated aero package for the remainder of the 2022 season.