ROKiT Williams Racing confirmed the signing of Nicholas Latifi as their second driver as it not only completes line-up but also for the 2020 F1 season.
After Robert Kubica announced his departure from Williams during the F1 Singapore GP, his seat was much talked upon with drivers like Nico Hulkenberg being linked to it along with DAMS’ FIA Formula 2 Championship driver, Latifi.
The chances for Hulkenberg were slim as Latifi emerged as a strong contender with the Canadian already serving the team as its reserve driver in 2019. As expected, Williams confirmed Latifi for a full-time F1 seat alongside George Russell for 2020.
The announcement came ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP at Yas Marina circuit. “I am thrilled to be stepping up as Race Driver for 2020,” said Latifi. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team this year, supporting them with the development of the car, and assisting wherever I can trackside and at the factory.
“I look forward to the journey ahead with the team, and I am excited to make my Formula One debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2020.” At the same time, Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, commented: “I am delighted to announce that Nicholas will be stepping up to the role of Race Driver to partner George in 2020.
“All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved this year in FIA F2, along with his commitment to the team, and the work that he has put in behind the scenes. Nicholas has become an established and well-respected member of Williams.
“We look forward to him stepping up into this new role, as we look to fight our way back to the midfield.” With 2019 F2 champion Nyck de Vries switching to Formula E with Mercedes, Latifi is the only one to graduate from the championship to F1 in 2020.
With just one round to go in the 2019 F2 season, Latifi is likely to finish second to winner de Vries unless UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s Luca Ghiotto passes him this weekend, with the two separated by just the 10 points.