Brazilian Grand Prix – Williams will run Nicholas Latifi again in first practice at Interlagos, with the Canadian driving Robert Kubica’s car.
Heading into the penultimate race of the season, Williams are one of three teams yet to confirm their line-up for 2020 but they are the only one guaranteed to have a change of driver. Robert Kubica, having made his comeback to F1 with Williams this year, confirmed ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix in September that he will not be driving for the Grove based team in 2020.
As a result, Williams are on the look out for a driver to team up with George Russell for next season. While former driver Nico Hulkenberg is available, he has all but ruled out a return to the team as his F1 career looks to be drawing to a close for now.
The most likely candidate for the seat is Nicholas Latifi, the young Canadian driver who raced for DAMS in Formula 2 this year. Strong at the start of the year, his title campaign fell apart a little in the middle part of the year as Nyck De Vries found his feet. With one round left of the Formula 2 season, Williams have drafted in Latifi for several FP1 sessions in a row in what looks certain to be preparation for him for 2020.
Having driven Kubica’s car in Mexico and Russell’s car in the United States, Latifi is back at the wheel of the Polish driver’s FW42 for first practice in Brazil.
“I am excited to get another opportunity to jump back in the car in Brazil.” said Latifi. “It will be my third FP1 in a row, in such a short period of time, so that’s good for the rhythm. I drove in FP1 there last year, so I know the track and that will help me get up to speed. It is a unique circuit, and an older style compared to the more modern venues. It is smaller, tighter, but the track has a lot of character and has been on the calendar for a while. I’m looking forward to getting out there and experiencing it once again.”
The team’s senior race engineer, Dave Robson, said that Latifi will carry out some testing during the ninety minute session: “Nicholas will drive Robert’s car in FP1 at this event for his final free practice outing of the season. We look forward to Nicholas’s help in setting up the car for this demanding circuit. In addition to the normal qualifying and race preparation, we will also look at several test items as we continue our build-up to the 2020 season.”