Tag Archives: Nicholas Latifi

British F3

Latifi Spa 2013


Carlin’s Nicholas Latifi led home a mighty Carlin 1-2-3 in this afternoon’s Cooper Tires British F3 International Series qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps, the Canadian driver finished two-tenths ahead of Jordan King who was a tenth ahead of Jann Mardenborough, and was also the holder of the second fastest time, taking pole position for race three on Saturday. National class pole went to CF Racing’s impressive young Chinese racer Sun Zheng. 
The Ardennes was basked in beautiful sunshine this afternoon and Latifi took off immediately where he left off in free practice, setting the pace with a 2:16.735. This provided his rivals with a challenging time to beat, and his team-mates King and Mardenborough would soon emerge as his closest rivals.
As the session progressed King went quickest of all with a 2:16.295, but a final run from Latifi produced a time of 2:15.542, which was good enough to ensure he took a maiden pole position for tomorrow’s first race, before his second best time saw him double that record. King will start both race one and the final race of the weekend from second on the grid.
Just over four tenths separated the top three finishers, and Mardenborough, who finished third in both free practice sessions, continued his impressive efforts with a lap of 2:15.972. The time ensures he starts on the second row for race one and race three in what is a busy weekend for the young Nissan GT Academy racer; as Mardenborough will also race in the Total 24 Hours of Spa in the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Behind the Carlin drivers it was Double R Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Fortec’s Felipe Guimaraes who brought the main challenge. Giovinazzi’s 2:16.372 good enough for fourth in race one, Guimaraes’ 2:16.630 giving him a row three start. Positions are reversed for race three with Guimaraes ahead of his Italian rival by ten thousandths of a second.
Championship leader Will Buller had a tough afternoon in his Fortec Dallara – Mercedes, the young Northern Irish racer showed glimpses of the pace that took his to two wins here in 2011, but his efforts, a 2:17.672, were only good enough for seventh in race one, and a 2:17.793 resulting in sixth for the final race.
Columbian Tatiana Calderon sparkled in the Belgian sunshine, a sixth place for race one and eighth for race three, coupled with a consistent performance throughout free practice will give the Double R driver cause for cheer. Team-mate Sean Gelael qualified eighth for race one and seventh for race three. 
The National class was dominated by Sun Zheng’s Neil Brown Engineering powered Dallara F311. From the outset the Chinese star was comfortably ahead of West-Tecs two Australasian chargers, Chris Vlok and Jordan Oon. Zheng will start from class pole for both race 1 and race 2, ninth overall; a positive test session at Anglesey boosting his confidence and understanding of Formula 3 machinery. 
Nicholas Latifi, #1 Carlin – Dallara – Volkswagen (International Class Pole) 
“I confused myself with that lap, I didn’t realise I was in the 15’s with my time, I thought I was in the 16’s, and I was frustrated, but then when I realised what my time was, I was very happy. It’s great to get a pole position, we have really good pace here this weekend and I’ m confident of having a good first race. It was amazing result for the team, a 1-2-3 for both races is huge.”
Sun Zheng, #87 CF Racing – Dallara – NBE (National Class Pole)
“We’ve done a lot of testing before coming here, I’m still getting used to the car. Silverstone wasn’t very good for us. We didn’t get a chance to test properly so we were worrying about set-up a lot, but I’m feeling prepared, the team feel prepared; it’s very good and we look ok for tomorrow. I’m not sure if we can get ahead of anyone in front  of us, but I’ll try to follow them and learn from them. My target is to come to the International class in the future, so it will be great to experience racing against those cars.”
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
 Provisional qualifying times / Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) / 25 July 2013
Leading International class runners

1  Nicholas LATIFI / CDN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  2:15.542

2  Jordan KING / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  2:15.865

3  Jann MARDENBOROUGH / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2:15.972

4  Antonio GIOVINAZZI / ITA, Double R Racing Dallara-HWA Mercedes  2:16.372

5  Felipe GUIMARAES / BRA, Fortec Dallara-HWA Mercedes  2:16.630

National class

1  Sun ZHENG / CHI,  CF Racing Dallara-NBE  2:18.832

2  Jordan OON/ AUS,  Team West-Tec Dallara-Toyota  2:21.290

3  Chris VLOK / NZL,  Double R Dallara-Toyota 2:22.728
Third-race grid: Latifi – King – Mardenborough – Guimaraes – Giovinazzi – Buller – Gelael – Calderon – Zheng – Oon – Vlok

Italian F3


15 days that are so hard to forget for Nicholas Latifi. After a powerfully gained second place in Imola, the young Italo-Canadian driver got up to the highest step of the podium, scoring the first win of the season.

This is a noteworthy result achieved at the end of a sprint race he ran as a leader from the very beginning to the end. He didn’t make any mistake and showed all his great sangfroid in handling the race in a clear-headed way since the depart from the pole.  Even during the trickiest moment of the race, he was able to maintain a very good pace, just as it happened when the safety car got off the track and the race restarted.

That was a brand new situation for the JD Motorsport team driver who was able to face it in the best way, keeping the other drivers bottled up behind him.

We don’t have to forget that this is the very first season for Latifi behind the wheel of a Formula car, after beginning his young career in the Canadian karting. It took only five months for him to get up to the highest step of the podium, scoring a win on Sunday afternoon which marked the end of the seventh race, the second last one of the Italian F.3 European Series, valid also for the tricolour series.

Thanks to the win scored at Vallelunga, Nicholas preserves his 4th place inside the rookie standing and the 7th place inside the Tricolour and European Series’ general standings.

NICHOLAS LATIFI: “This weekend in Vallelunga was probably one of the toughest race weekends for me so far. We were struggling throughout all the sessions to get the car dialled in. After qualifying 6th and 9th I was disappointed and knew that the races were not going to be easy. I was pleased to finish 6th in race one, which gave me reverse grid pole for race three, but in race 2, my race ended early after another driver tried to make a pass when there was no room for a pass. I managed to come away with the win in race 3 which felt amazing, as it was my first win, and my teammate Riccardo finished 2nd so it was a great result for the team.”

MICHAEL LATIFI (Nicholas’ father): “ I’m very satisfied with Nicholas’ race. This win is the result of a great job. Over these months Nicholas has demonstrated his continued progression throughout the races. Coming straight out from karting, we knew that It was not going to be easy , even because he has competed with much more experienced drivers. This win must be a starting point to continue to develop and improve. Now we would like to end the season, gaining another important result in Monza .”

DAVID TENNYSON: “ Nicholas has continually demonstrated his immense driving and racing skills this entire 2012 racing season. Coming straight out of karts and into F3   was a true challenge and I am more than impressed by his progression this
season.  We set realistic goals all year and focused on developing his understanding of the car and how to work with his engineer to optimize car   setup and performance.  The win on Sunday was truly impressive as he  maintained his composure all race and never put a wheel wrong.  The JD team were also flawless in car preparation and professionalism.

GIOVANNI MINARDI: “ First of all I’d like to congratulate Nicholas who, with this win, has reached  the goal he was longing for a long time. I’m sure this is only a starting point and a great boost of confidence to get into the final race in Monza . I’d like also to congratulate the staff who supports  and looks after Nicholas.”

F3 Series Italia

F.3 – Nicholas Latifi  ready for a new challenge in Imola…

One month after the challenge at the Red Bull Ring, the Italian F3 European Series is now ready to come back to Italy for the last three races which will take place at the international circuits of Imola, Vallelunga and Monza .

After setting the best qualifying time in Austria , the Italo-Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi is ready to go back behind the wheel of his Mygale 18 to continue his progressions as a F3 driver and  to chase after new scores. In these first months, the JD Motorsport standard-bearer has demonstrated his abilities in achieving constant progressions, being able to almost set top drivers times. Unfortunately his lack of experience in driving open wheel cars has denied him to achieve more important results such as the podium which still remains the main target.

NICHOLAS LATIFI: “ I feel confident in the race in Imola. I hope to confirm the good results achieved in qualifying at the Ring and set a good race. My goal is to obtain good final results which I unfortunately wasn’t able to get in the last race.”

The week-end will start on Thursday with four sessions of collective tests, then will go on on Friday, August the 31st, with a half an hour free practices session ( from 9.00 to 9.30) followed by the two qualifying sessions (17.25-17.40 and 17.50-18.05) which will determine the starting grid of the 22’ + 1 lap race and the 30’ + 1 lap race on programme on Saturday at 14.55 and Sunday, September the 2nd, at 10.00. The 15’+ 1 lap sprint race (at 18.00) will end the sixth meeting of the season.

Italian F3

F.3 –  At the “Ring” Nicholas came so close…

ZELTWEG – At the Red Bull Ring, the Austrian circuit where the fifth race of the Italian F3 European Series took place, although Nicholas Latifi had a week-end full of ups and downs, he showed his progressions behind the wheel of a hard-driving car such as a F3.

After a good performance during the two days tests, the JD Motorsport team standard-bearer resolutely got the third and fourth place in the two qualifying rounds which determined the starting grid of the two most challenging races: a 20 minutes race and a 30 minutes + one lap race. The 17-year-old Canadian racer drove his Mygale 18 to the second row, just 3 or 4 tenths behind the second best lap time, setting his two best qualifying times of the whole season.

In race, unfortunately, the lack of experience (we don’t have to forget that Nicholas made a direct transition from karts to cars) driving such a challenging car inside a high-level Championship, undermined all the work done, preventing him to reap the fruits of his labour, although his race pace was almost like the one of top drivers.

NICHOLAS LATIFI: “ What I wanted to do was to improve my qualifying times, so did I. Starting from the second row is really a great achievement and a starting point to get further important results. Unfortunately races weren’t as good as I expected. In race-1, thanks to a good start, I managed to get the lead, but, because of a car clash, I ended up behind the front lines. What a pity! In races I always maintained a good pace, so this makes me confident for the remainder of the season.”

DAVID TENNYSON (driver coach): Nicholas progression this season has been extremely impressive.  Coming straight out of karts into F3 and attaining a top 3 qualifying result by mid season is a fantastic achievement.  With his recent Qualifying performances, racing at the front will be a new challenge for Nicholas and his already steep learning curve.  I am fully confident Nicholas will once again demonstrate his exceptional natural ability and talent behind the wheel as he continues to develop as a driver this season.”

GIOVANNI MINARDI (sport advisor): “ The week-end at the Red Bull Ring was full of ups and downs. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to reap the fruits of our hard labour. Both in the two days tests in July and in qualifying Nicky drove very fastly, showing all his progressions in terms of a single lap speed. Unfortunately in race we didn’t get those places which could be within our reach. This was because of few mistakes due to his lack of experience and unfavourable circumstances. The work done is beginning to deliver its first results, so in Imola we would have a chance to get the results we missed in Austria .”

Italian F3 Euro Series

Nicholas Latifi  target stop 3 by Monza race

The Italian Formula 3 European Series gets ready to get into the second part of the Championship, so it’s time for Nicholas Latifi to take stock of the racing season.

After the first four apprenticeship races, the 17 year-old Italo-Canadian driver is now ready to reap the fruit of his hard labour and aim at the podium he was about to get in Budapest.

Last week the JD Motorsport driver was again behind the wheel of his Mygale 18 at the Red Bull Ring, to take part in the collective test arranged by Championship planners to prepare next challenge which will just take place at the Austrian circuit. During the two test days Nicholas has confirmed the improvements gained in the past races, climbing the standing to the second place.

We arrived at the turning point. What is your judgment after Valencia, Budapest, Mugello and Misano?
The first 4 races of the season have been a significant learning experience for me. Coming direct out of karting into F3 has been an exciting challenge for me. I must admit, I am not pleased with my finishing positions as I am extremely competitive and want to Win! Nor do I feel satisfied unless I am the fastest driver on the track! However I understand the level of experience of the other drivers I am competing against and need to stay focused on learning the tracks, familiarize myself with the car and how to work with my engineer to improve the cars performance. I am confident the results will come as my times get closer and closer to the front runners. The last test at RedBull Ring I was second to my teammate Ricardo. I am looking forward to the race and to set my sites on a top 3 finish.

I am focused on continuing to improve and develop as a driver for the remainder of the season and to strive for better results, lap times and racing for the last 4 events of the season.

After every weekend you could improve your times. What is your target by the end of the championship?
I have set a goal to be able to run with the top drivers by the end of the season and finish in the top 3. I am aware this is an aggressive goal, but as discussed, I am never really happy or satisfied with my performance unless I have a chance at winning. In karting, in only 3 seasons came 5 corners from a possible victory in the world championships combined with numerous wins and championship titles so its hard to start over again and have to climb the ladder. I am focused and committed to do what I need to do to arrive at the end of the season and have a chance to win races or finish in the top 3

In this first part of the season you’ve got to drive the Dallara is that the Mygale. What differences have you found?

Switching from the dallara to the mygale was a positive move, however it was difficult as I had all my pre-season testing and km in the dallara and then to switch only after the 2nd race was difficult. I had to re-adjust my driving, understanding of the car and the general feel of the car is different. I am pleased with the mygale and feel it Is a great car. The Dallara was also a great car to drive, I just think the mygale has suited me more.

It ‘s been difficult to adapt to the style of driving a Formula 3 car, coming from karting?
The transition from karts to cars has not been a difficult transition for me in terms of driving, however as I mentioned not being at the top and winning is the mental challenge I think every athlete and driver faces when they move up. There are very significant difference between driving cars and karts, the most important one is cars are much less forgiving and when you make a mistake it costs you much more time or an off. Karts are very simple to recover from mistakes. I will say that karting is the best form of racing, I am still trying to get use to the fact that passing in f3 is so difficult because of the downforce, in my karting races there are sometimes 3 to 4 passes for the lead every lap!! I miss this as I love to aggressively race, head to head, there is nothing more exciting and I really miss this.

Live and study in Canada, but run in Europe. An extra challenge for you, given the time difference. How have you organized?

The traveling is for sure not an easy thing to get use to. Time change, planes, airports, long drives all has an impact but I understand this is all part of it. My family and I are always looking at options to possibly setup a base in Europe to minimize my travel. We will see for next season how we will address this issue. It has gotten a bit better, the first race in valencia I was really hit hard by the time change and I know this is not the best situation for a driver. I work hard mentally and physically to improve every aspect of my physical performance to help me cope with this challenge.

In preparation for the appointment in Austria, you’re back on track for the joint test at the Red Bull Ring, confirming the obvious progress of the last races. What job you did with your team and your engineer?

The Redbull 2 day test was similar to the imola test, we found a good setup, the car had a good balance and I was top 4 the first day and was able to end the last day 2nd fastest to my teammate Ricardo. Like every track I go to they are “All” new to me so I need to first learn the track then work with my engineer to set the car up. I have set a goal to be top three at the event. We have a good car and I am more experienced with the tire and maximizing my performance in qualifying when the tire is at its peak performance. This has taken some time to learn and develop to build a confidence in pushing the car in the early laps. I am much more acclimated and comfortable now. We will see, but I am really confident in my chances at Rebdbull ring. Hoping it will be a good race with lost of competition and hopefully some passing and action!

Italian F3 European Series

Bitter race at Mugello for Nicholas Latifi

Arrived at Mugello circuit, which host the third round of the Italian F3 European Series and the starting race of the tricolour series, determined to get good results just after being on the verge of the podium in Hungary and performing at a high level during test days on Vallelunga and Imola tracks, Nicholas Latifi left Mugello with the awareness of having moved great steps forward but also conscious that his results haven’t been as good as he deserved.

Through the Tuscan track’s ups and downs, the 16-year-old Canadian driver of the JD Motorsport team has shown the progression he had already shown in the previous races, making his performance level being closer and closer to top drivers and improving his chronos after each session. At the end of the second qualifying turn, Nicholas gets a very good 1’40”714, only 5 dec. far from the pole. After being placed eighth at the end of race- 1, in the second race Nicholas fights hand in hand with his rivals and  powerfully places inside the top five.

A car collision during the race forces him to make an unscheduled  pit stop to replace the damaged front wing, compromising his final result.

Nicholas Latifi: “I was very confident going into the Mugello weekend and building on the great performance we had in Hungaroring in the last race and our performances in the vallelunga and Imola test days. I was happy with my progression in the car at Mugello, however in 2 of the races contact with another car ended both my races. I ran as high as 5th place in race 2 and was happy with my times narrowing the gap between myself and the top runners. I am looking forward to the next round in Misano and to continue to improve with each event.”

David Tennyson (driver coach): “Nicholas has continued to develop his skills and speed in Formula 3 with each race weekend. The Mugello event was a tough weekend as a result of a couple of race incidents, however I was very pleased with Nicholas driving and progression in the car. His performance in race 2 demonstrated his ability to run in the top 5 and set the 5th fastest lap of the race before having to pit to replace his front wing, ruining a solid top 5 performance.

Next race will take place on July the 8th at Misano’s circuit, just on that track which was named after the late Marco Simoncelli.