“It was a bit strange to be honest,” said Latifi. “We had actually heard that this might be the case going into the end of last year, coming back from Abu Dhabi, that into the new year the Canadian ASN might have not been renewed or not be allowed to give the licences out anymore. So we had actually already applied for the licence before I got signed.
“So I actually had my Canadian A Licence, which we need to then apply for the super licence. But then it was not accepted by the FIA for the super licence. So very quickly we had to apply for the US one. So it was a bit surprising, but at the end of the it doesn’t really change much for me.”
Despite the change of licence, Latifi will continue to be recognised as a Canadian driver. “I still have the Canadian flag beside my name, it should still be the Canadian flag on the TV screen beside my name,” he said. “So that’s the main thing that counts.”
The first race of 2020 will be the first time for more than five decades that two Canadian drivers have raced together in F1. “I think it’s quite cool that there’s going to be two Canadians sharing the official starting grid,” said Latifi.
“I’ve always said it from racing in Formula 2, at that time it was the highest level I was racing, you feel more on the international stage in the Formula 1 paddock. I take a lot of pride in representing Canada, representing my country.
“So definitely I think it’s going to be great for the sport and great for the Montreal grand prix as it’s always, in my opinion, one of the best ones – I’m not just saying that because I’m Canadian.”
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2020 F1 season
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton