Nicholas Latifi will return to racing action this weekend when the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship gets underway at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain [29 – 31 March].
The Canadian and his DAMS Racing team have enjoyed a busy winter of preparation in anticipation of the new season, honing personal fitness and refining car set-up, in order to hit the ground running in the pursuit of the title.
Having completed six days of running in the F2/18 car – which features state-of-the-art aerodynamics and a 3.4-litre V6 engine – at Jerez and Barcelona, undertaking an extensive programme, Latifi is ready to push on in Bahrain.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to finally getting going,” said Latifi, who also holds the role of ROKiT Williams Racing’s Formula 1 reserve driver.
“I’m really hoping to start off on the right foot, it’s the first race of the season and I have very high ambitions for this year.
“Getting off to a strong start and having a clean weekend will bring a lot of confidence so that’s the plan.”
Latifi has prior test and race experience of the 5.4km circuit that has traditionally acted as the season opener to the 12-event Formula 2 championship. And he hopes that familiarity will help his title bid get off to a positive start.
“This is the season I’m most confident going into,” he explained.
“I feel there are not really any unknowns. The previous years I was inexperienced, we had the new car and last year I was recovering from an illness.
“Going into this year I know the areas I need to improve to put in a championship run, and I know where I’m strong too, and my focus is about delivering consistently weekend by weekend.
“I’m confident that we’re going to be able to be competing up at the front each time. We’ve done a lot of hard work over the winter, so we’re excited to get going.”
The 23-year-old’s weekend will begin with a 45-minute practice session on Friday morning and that afternoon a 30-minute qualifying session will determine the grid for Saturday’s Feature Race. A shorter-length Sprint Race on Sunday will cap the opening round’s action.
Latifi will remain in Bahrain for next week’s first in-season F1 test, when he will make his debut behind the wheel of the ROKiT Williams Racing’s FW42.
Nicholas’s 2019 racing campaign is supported by Royal Bank of Canada, Lavazza and Sofina.