Latifi in the points for Williams as Verstappen clinches second world title

It was all smiles for the Williams Racing F1 team, partnered by Acronis, as Nicholas Latifi benefitted from a brilliant race strategy and smooth driving to finish 9th after a turbulent Japanese Grand Prix.

Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Williams Racing FW44. Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka, Japan.

Starting from a lowly 19th on the grid, the Canadian driver had absolutely nothing to lose as the rain pummelled the famous Suzuka circuit, causing a delay of over an hour.

And when racing eventually resumed in earnest, an early call to switch to the intermediate compound tyres paid handsome dividends, Latifi able to hold off both McLarens to collect his first points of the season.

“The beginning was quite tricky with the red flag and the delays,” commented Latifi on his team’s official press release. “We made the right decision to pit straight away for the Inters which was critical in jumping the cars ahead of us.

“I struggled at the end with the front tyres but I’m extremely happy to hold on and get my first points of the season. Overall, I’m really happy for the team and it’s a nice morale boost.”

It may well have been an even better result for the team had Alexander Albon not suffered an unfortunate collision that damaged his radiator and caused an early retirement.

Nonetheless, Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson left the circuit very satisfied with a job well done and further points in the bag.

“Today was hectic and enjoyable, and in the end provided a very good race,” added Robson. “It was great to be back in Suzuka to race at this superb circuit.

“As a team we had some ups and downs over the course of the weekend, but we fought hard today and gave both drivers a good package for the conditions.

“It’s disappointing that Alex was prevented from capitalising but great for Nicky and his team to score some points.”

Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Williams Racing FW44. Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka, Japan.

In the bigger picture, it was Max Verstappen who cruised to a 27.066s victory and his second world title.

Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez came home second ahead of Charles Leclerc after an almighty final lap tussle saw the Ferrari man cut a corner and receive a five second time penalty, meaning Verstappen clinched the title.


Prominent once again on the nose of the car and on the front wing endplates this season are the team’s official cyber protection partner Acronis. Williams Racing uses Acronis technology to add extra layers of protection to its IT infrastructure, protecting hundreds of servers and endpoint devices.

During the 2021 season and continuing this year, Acronis opened up an exciting #TeamUp Program, giving new and existing service providers the opportunity to support sports partnerships, join the sports ecosystem, attend races and enjoy amazing sports marketing benefits. To find out more, please visit Cyber Protection for global sports – Acronis

Williams Racing.
Spanish Grand Prix, Friday 20th May 2022. Barcelona, Spain.

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.