The RoKit Williams F1 team confirmed one of the worst kept secrets on the Formula One grid. Earlier this year, Robert Kubica confirmed that he will not continue with the Grove-based team. In light of that, it was rumoured that Nicholas Latifi would replace him, and now it has come to pass.
Latifi is the FIA Formula 2 runner-up behind Nyck de Vries, who is currently racing in Formula E with Mercedes. Further advancing his cause, was the fact that he has taken part in six practice sessions for Williams F1.
— ROKiT WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) November 28, 2019
Speaking about Latifi, Williams F1 deputy team boss, Claire Williams, said, “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.”
Meanwhile, Latifi admitted that he enjoyed working with the team this year, aiding with development of the car, and working trackside and at the factory.
He said, “I look forward to the journey ahead with the team, and I am excited to make my Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2020.”
The 24-year old’s prior Formula One experience included working as a reserve driver with three teams since 2016. He worked with Renault, before moving to Force India and finally Williams.
This season, he combined his practice work with Williams with his best F2 campaign to date. Latifi is currently second, 10 points ahead of Luca Ghiotto with two more races to go in Abu Dhabi this weekend.