Williams reserve driver Nicholas Latifi will make his FP1 debut for the team during this weekend’s F1 Canadian GP at Montreal.

Latifi joined Williams as its reserve driver ahead of 2019 F1 season from Racing Point, which he dovetails with a drive for DAMS in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. The Canadian is leading the F2 drivers’ standings by one point over Nyck de Vries.

The 23-year-old has already had his first drive of FW42 in the pre-season as well as in-season tests but this weekend’s Canadian GP will be his first time during the FP1 session – which he has undertaken with Racing Point previously.

Latifi will replace Robert Kubica in Canada alongside George Russell – for whom it will the first time. He has five more FP1 outings in line after Montreal, where it is expected that the Canadian will take away three of Kubica’s FP1 session and three of Russell’s.

“I’m really excited to take part in my first FP1 session with the team,” said Latifi. “The fact that it’s at my home GP will definitely add an extra bit of excitement but nonetheless the goal still remains the same.

“I want to do a good job for the team and give them the feedback they need to guide them going into FP2. I feel really well prepared after the three days of in-season testing I have had, along with all the work I have conducted at the factory this year.

“I can’t wait to hit the track.” The Canadian will be fully immersed in the weekend’s racing programme as per Williams, where he will be testing some important components along with Russell as the team pushes for a bigger upgrade to increase performance.

“Following his successful testing appearances in Bahrain and Barcelona, our Reserve Driver Nicholas Latifi will drive Robert’s car during FP1,” said Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer.  “This is Nicholas’s home race and we look forward to some strong local support on Friday.

“Nicholas will be involved fully in our race preparations, and alongside George will conduct some important testing of new components during FP1. For FP2 onwards Robert will return to the track and refamiliarise himself with the circuit which played host to his maiden F1 victory in 2008.”

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