Williams has signed Nicholas Latifi to a reserve driver role in 2019 following the promotion of Robert Kubica to a race seat.
Kubica will partner George Russell in 2019, with Sergey Sirotkin leaving the team and Lance Stroll now confirmed as a Force India race driver. Latifi had been at Force India in a reserve and test capacity, but the 23-year-old Canadian will now take on the same role with Williams that will include plenty of track time next season.
“I’m thrilled to be joining an iconic team like Williams as a reserve driver for 2019,” Latifi said. “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.”
Latifi will drive in six FP1 sessions next season, with Williams also confirming there will be an outing during pre-season testing, two in-season test days and two days of Pirelli testing. Deputy team principal Claire Williams says Williams has been impressed by Latifi’s approach outside of the car as well as his Formula 2 results, winning a race in each of the last two seasons.
“I am delighted to confirm Nicholas Latifi as a reserve driver for the 2019 season,” Williams said. “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.”