Williams has confirmed that Nicholas Latifi will race for the team for next year’s Formula 1 season, replacing Robert Kubica.
Latifi, who is on course to finish runner-up in the Formula 2 championship this year, has been a reserve driver for Williams this season and has taken part in a number of Friday practice sessions for the team.
After Robert Kubica announced he would be leaving the team earlier in the year, it was widely assumed that the seat would go to Latifi, and the team have now confirmed that is the case, stating that they are impressed with how he has integrated himself into the team.
A statement released by Williams said: “ROKiT Williams Racing is delighted to announce Nicholas Latifi will complete the team’s driver line-up for 2020, partnering George Russell in next year’s FIA Formula One World Championship.
“Nicholas has impressed as Reserve Driver this year, conducting several tests and taking part in six FP1 sessions across the season.
“The 24-year-old has fully integrated himself in his role, spending extensive time working closely with the team both trackside and at the factory, and providing valuable feedback for the development of both the FW42 and FW43.”
Speaking about the deal, Latifi said that he has enjoyed helping the team this year and that he is looking forward to racing in Melbourne next season.
“I am thrilled to be stepping up as Race Driver for 2020. 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.” commented Latifi.
“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.”
Williams Team Principal, Claire Williams also stated that she was impressed with how Latifi has worked during the course of the season, and that she thinks he can be valuable in helping the team return to the midfield next year.
“I am delighted to announce that Nicholas will be stepping up to the role of Race Driver to partner George in 2020.” added Williams.
“All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved this year in FIA Formula 2, 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, and we look forward to him stepping up into this new role, as we look to fight our way back to the midfield.”