Who is Michael Latifi-Billionaire Father of Williams Driver Nicholas Latifi?

Published 03/05/2021, 8:15 AM EST
BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 27: Nicholas Latifi of Canada and Williams prepares to drive in the garage during Day Two of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 27, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)


Lawrence Stroll isn’t the only Canadian billionaire father playing an integral part in his son’s F1 career. While he may grab more headlines, a certain Michael Latifi is no slouch in the business world. So, what is Latifi Senior’s background and how is he related to Williams?

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Michael Mehrdad Latifi was born in Iran and moved to Canada as a child. He was known as the owner of one of its largest food companies, Sofina.

He set out to expand the empire in the 1990s and acquired Lilydale incorporation, among others. Another one of his notable contributions was the establishment of the Sofina Foundation in 2007.

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Nicholas Latifi of Canada driving the (6) Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Hamad Mohammed – Pool/Getty Images)

In totality, his personal wealth is close to $2 billion. But he made a real noise among the F1 world when he made a significant investment in the McLaren Group. Through his investment company, Nidala, he bought a 10% stake in the Woking-based outfit for $260 million in 2018.

However, his association with F1 does not end there. His son, Nicholas Latifi, drives for the Williams Racing Team. Unsurprisingly, his company, Sofina Foods, sponsors the team.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 12: Nicholas Latifi of Canada and Williams looks on during a press conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 12, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Michael was in at pole to buy Williams last year before Dorilton takeover

Williams haven’t had the easiest of times in the past few years. From racing for Championships in the 90s, they battled hard for survival last year when COVID struck. Michael played a huge part in ensuring that.

He sanctioned a loan for an unspecified amount through his Latrus Racing company when they were in a dire situation after Title sponsors, Rokit, pulled out.

And when rumors of Williams‘ family’s intention to sell the team began to float, his name was frequently brought up in the media.

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According to Gazzetta dello Sport, he was ready to shell out around $150 Million to take over the team. The new budget cap enticed him, and he felt he could restore their competitive level. This deal would have been akin to that of Lawrence Stroll’s with his son Lance’s F1 team.

However, it wasn’t to be as Dorilton Capital swooped in and took over the responsibilities from Claire Williams. It may have guaranteed Nicholas a long-term drive in F1, as well.

But Dorilton themselves come up with some ambitions, and we will find out if they can fulfill them or not.

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Bharat Aggarwal

695 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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