Force India has announced it will give time in its Formula 1 car to Nicholas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin and George Russell at the upcoming Barcelona in-season test.
All 10 F1 teams will remain in Barcelona after the Spanish Grand Prix later this month to carry out two days of official testing, with another two days of testing to follow after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Of those four days, two have to be carried out by rookie drivers who have started no more than two grands prix, and Force India has confirmed rookies will make up its full line-up in Spain.
Latifi was named reserve and test driver ahead of this season, but a virus over the winter meant he was unable to complete his planned running for Force India during preseason. As a result, Latifi will drive the car for the first time on the Tuesday, as preparation for a Friday practice outing at the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
Mazepin is the Force India development driver and he will take over testing duties on the Wednesday, with each driver carrying out a full day.
While teams are only allowed to run one car during testing sessions – both in pre-season and during the season – Force India will have a second 2018 car running as part of Pirelli’s tire test program.
As part of this schedule, Russell – who is also a reserve driver for Mercedes – will drive on the Tuesday before Latifi continues the Pirelli testing schedule on the Wednesday, ensuring back-to-back days in current F1 machinery for the Canadian.
Russell won the Formula 2 sprint race in Azerbaijan on Sunday to move up to sixth in the drivers’ standings, while Latifi was promoted to third place in the same race for his first podium of the season and sits eighth overall.