Williams have announced Nicholas Latifi will be their reserve driver for the 2019 season.
He takes over the role from Robert Kubica, who moves into a race seat next year. The Canadian had a similar position at Force India last year, combining test and reserve duties there with competing in F2.
The team announced the Canadian will take part in six FP1 seasons during the 2019 campaign, as well as doing two in-season test days, one pre-season test day at Barcelona and two Pirelli tyre test days, in addition to simulator work at Williams’s Grove factory.
In a statement from the team announcing the signing, the 23-year-old said: “I’m thrilled to be joining an iconic team like Williams as 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. 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: “I am delighted to confirm Nicholas Latifi as a Reserve Driver for the 2019 season. 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 dilligent. 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 has spent the last three seasons with DAMS in F1’s feeder series, finishing ninth in the championship in 2018, with his only victory of the campaign coming in the spring race in Belgium.
Williams has an all-new race seat lineup for 2019, with Kubica joining rookie George Russell to replace Lance Stroll, who moves to Force India, and Sergey Sirotkin.