Nicholas Latifi joins Williams as reserve driver for 2019 season

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2018 16:47 hrs

[UK], Dec 4 (ANI): Winner of Formula 2 race Nicholas Latifi has joined Williams racing team as a reserve driver for the upcoming 2019 F1 season.

The 23-year-old had spent two years as a test driver for Renault before joining Force India last year as their reserve driver. He then opened talks with Williams about a deal for next season and will join the iconic British team alongside race drivers Robert Kubica and George Russell for 2019.

As part of his deal, Latifi will drive in six first practice sessions during Grand Prix weekends, as well as carry out driving duties in two in-season test days, one pre-season test day in Barcelona and two Pirelli tyre testing days.

He will also conduct simulator running at the Williams factory at Grove and support the team trackside at race weekends.

Latifi expressed delight over joining the team saying that it is an excellent opportunity for him to develop his F1 career.

"I'm thrilled to be joining an iconic team like Williams as a reserve driver for 2019. 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," F 1 quoted Latifi, as saying.

"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," he added.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams termed Latifi as "intelligent" and "diligent" driver adding that they are looking forward to work with him.

"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," Williams said.

"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," he added.

Previously, Latifi has taken part in Friday F1 practice session for Force India, driving in Canada, Germany, Russia, Mexico and Brazil this season. (ANI)