Following rumours that Oscar Piastri would replace struggling Williams driver Nicholas Latifi in 2023, speculation is rife over his future.

Some believe the British team is considering Alpine’s offer to loan reigning Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri to another team for his F1 debut.

While it may seem unlikely to replace the well-supported Canadian Latifi, whose father Michael owns Sofina Foods, the 26-year-old has had an especially rocky start to his 2022 season.

Jost Capito, the Williams coach, says Latifi’s confidence has taken a knock.

“Of course. It’s a head game, isn’t it?” he said. “He’s capable of driving very fast and do the same laptimes as Alex (Albon) if he is in the right place, I’m sure. The cars are a bit more difficult and trickier to drive than last year’s and he has to get his head around it.

“He gets the full support from the team and we are sure he will get there.”

Capito thinks some of Latifi’s confidence problems were triggered by the fallout of the 2021 world championship outcome, in which he took much of the blame for the title-deciding safety car period.

“I think what impacted him most last year was the comments and the threats on social media,” he said.

“We try to boost his confidence, we work with him and I think he’s getting better on that.”

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