Nicholas Latifi has issued a damning verdict on his crucial final season with Williams after losing his F1 seat to rookie Logan Sargeant.
The Canadian was axed by Williams at the end of the season following three years of poor results.
Although his second campaign showed signs of improvement, the 27-year-old faltered considerably this past term as he finished the year with both the lowest grid and finishing positions of any driver.
"It’s safe to say it’s been a very up-and-down year," said Latifi. "My first two years were, I guess, what you can expect, as the first two years in Formula 1. A rookie season is a rookie season.
"[In the] Second year, there were some really big improvements all around. I guess this year, as a team, collectively we took a step backward, and I just struggled to get on top of the car with various different issues.
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"Obviously, some things in my control, some things out of my control. That’s motor sport, that’s the way it always goes."
The new era of technical regulations presented a challenge for all the drivers, with the demands significantly different from that of the previous era.
Latifi, however, refused to use this as an excuse for his problems.
"This year I would say ultimately was my worst year out of the three years in what was a crucial year for me to secure the future," he added.
"That’s the reality of it. It just didn’t work out in the end."