Russell is tipped to take Valtteri Bottas' place at Mercedes when his Williams contract expires at the end of the season with a decision set to be made ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Canadian Latifi looks set to stay with the team having taken his first points in F1 with seventh in Hungary but it is as yet unclear who the leading candidates are to replace the Briton should he make the move to Mercedes.
When asked what calibre of driver should replace Russell if he goes, Latifi said: “Obviously, the speed and being quick is one of the main things, but I think you have to have someone who knows it’s still in a rebuilding phase.
“Williams is definitely on the correct path to being more competitive and being more in the fight. I think as much as everyone will hope and be optimistic that it will be a big jump next year, it might not be as big a jump as we want.
“I’m obviously hoping that it will be a massive jump next year, it might not be. If you have a driver who expects to win the championship or win races next year, maybe that’s not the right thing.”
Latifi says drivers must "push the team forward"
Dorilton Captial acquired the team midway through last year and has brought in former VW Director of Motorsport Jost Capito along with FX Demaison as new technical director.
With a new breed of F1 car being introduced in 2022, Latifi highlighted the importance of a driver's ability to work with engineers and steer the direction of development of the new car.
Latifi added: “You need someone who can be patient to work with the engineers on track and the engineers back at the factory in the right way to guide them, as obviously it’s a new generation of car.
“That will be completely different to what we are all used to these past years. So having a fresh open mind, an open approach and a willingness to push the team forward.”
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