Nicholas Latifi will be Williams’ reserve driver for the 2019 Formula 1 championship
Williams has picked up Force India development driver Nicholas Latifi as its reserve driver for 2019. The 23-year-old Canadian will drive in six free practice sessions, two in-season test days, one pre-season test day at Barcelona and two Pirelli tyre test days.
In addition to his development duties, Latifi will likely compete with DAMS in the 2019 Formula 2 season, having tested with the team in Abu Dhabi this month and competed with it in 2018 , finishing ninth in the drivers’ championship.
Robert Kubica was Williams’ development driver for 2018, but will now drive full-time in the FW42 with 2018 Formula 2 champion George Russell.
Oliver Rowland, who was a Williams reserve driver this season, will race for Nissan for the 2018/19 Formula E season.
“I’m thrilled to be joining an iconic team like Williams as a reserve driver for 2019,” said Latifi in a statement on Monday.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to continue my F1 development, and to build my on-track experience with more FP1 sessions and the rookie and Pirelli tests.
“As well as this, a big part of my role will be simulator driving and helping to support the development of the new car. I look forward to spending time in the factory at Grove, immersing myself within the team and assisting wherever I can. This is an amazing opportunity that I’ve been given and I’m excited to get started.”
Deputy team principal Claire Williams added: “Nicholas has been racing successfully in the junior formula, he has the racing pedigree that we’re looking for and he is incredibly intelligent and diligent. Nicholas will drive in FP1 sessions and at several tests next year.
“Along with this, he will undertake simulator work for the team. We are certain he will be a great fit for the team and we look forward to working with Nicholas next season.”
Latifi’s father, Michael, invested more than £200 million in McLaren in May to become a 10 per cent shareholder in the group.