Williams’ reserve driver Nicholas Latifi says his two days of testing with the team this week are crucial preparation for his Grand Prix FP1 runs.
The Canadian racer, who has won three of the six Formula 2 races so far this year with DAMS, has been strongly linked with a Williams race seat to replace the struggling Robert Kubica.
The former Force India development driver is now the reserve driver with Williams and his two days of track time with the FW42, coupled with his current lead of the F2 Championship, means he is firmly in the spotlight this week.
Latifi completed 134 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya on the first day of testing, with a best time of 1:20.670 some five seconds off the pace of the fastest man Valtteri Bottas. However, he never used a tyre compound softer than the C2 Pirellis.
“It was a productive day and we completed the greatest number of laps.” he explained afterwards.
“The sessions ran smoothly, and we were able to get through our programme, despite the few red flag interruptions. Days like these are important for me to ensure that I am comfortable in the FW42 and understand what it is capable of ahead of my upcoming FP1 outings. I look forward to getting back in the car tomorrow for further testing in Barcelona.”
Along with his testing, Latifi will be given six FP1 appearances between now and the end of the season.
“Picking up where he left off in Bahrain, and following some more very strong results in F2, Nicholas drove extremely well all day today.” said Senior Race Engineer Dave Robson.
“This allowed us to complete almost all the tests that we had planned. Over 134 laps, we completed a series of test programmes as we evaluated some new components and began some preparation for Monaco. Today we used mostly the C2 tyre compound, which was the Option tyre at the race weekend. Tomorrow we will use a more varied range of tyre compounds as we continue our test programme and complete Nicholas’s preparations ahead of his upcoming FP1 outings in Canada and France.