French Grand Prix – Williams will again run Nicholas Latifi in FP1 this weekend at Paul Ricard, with the Canadian driving George Russell’s car.
Having made his FP1 debut for 2019 with Williams a fortnight ago at his home race in Canada, Formula 2 Championship leader Nicholas Latifi will be driving the Williams FW42 again in FP1 at Paul Ricard.
He will be taking over George Russell’s car for the session, having driven Robert Kubica’s during Canadian FP1.
I’m excited to continue my FP1 programme with the team in France coming off a successful weekend in Canada.” said Latifi ahead of the weekend. “Montreal had a lot of positives and I’m looking to build on those experiences going into Le Castellet. It’s quite a different track with a lot less risk involved due to the nature of the circuit which will give me confidence to push a bit harder. It’s also a weekend where I will be mixing my F1 duties with an F2 race weekend, which poses a unique challenge. I’m more than up for it and looking forward to what will be a very busy weekend.”
Latifi’s sizeable championship lead was eroded over the Monaco weekend a month ago, leaving the Principality just a solitary point ahead of ART’s Nyck de Vries. He says the double duty of F1 alongside his F2 title bid won’t distract him and could even be a positive.
“This is the first FP1 I have alongside F2 this year – it’s double duty,” he said. “It’s a challenge but more track time is definitely a benefit and it’s good to continue with the development, especially so soon after the FP1 outing in Montreal.
“I drove F1 and F2 sessions in Sochi last year and it ended up being my best F2 weekend of the year. Yes, it is difficult to run from the F1 paddock and jump straight into the F2 car. But the chance for more time on the track, and to find a good rhythm is worth more than any negative effect of re-adjusting to a different car.”
“We didn’t lack pace in Monaco, but there were a lot of incidents. Fortunately, I had built enough of a buffer to retain the championship lead. I learned a lot from Monaco, now I’m looking to the future and I’m ready to make the most of the upcoming races.”