Canadian racer Nicholas Latifi will continue his Formula 1 and Formula 2 programmes across the coming weekends (30 August – 1 September and 6 – 8 September) at two historic motor racing venues in Belgium and Italy.
Nicholas has taken four victories in this year’s FIA Formula 2 Championship, more than any other participant, winning at the opening rounds in Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Spain.
The 24-year-old made a triumphant return to the highest step of the podium at the most recent event in Hungary, cementing his position as a leading title contender with four rounds remaining.
This weekend, Nicholas heads to Belgium’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which stretches out across seven kilometres in Belgium’s picturesque Ardennes Forest. It’s a track that holds positive memories for Nicholas who claimed a Formula 2 race win there in 2018.
“Obviously I’m really looking forward to getting back to racing after the summer break,” said Nicholas, who spent much of the downtime in Toronto. “DAMS and I are confident that we can continue our recent form.”
“Spa is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar, and I’ve gone well there before. Corners like Eau Rouge and Pouhon are incredible to drive in these high-downforce cars.”
Nicholas will complement his Formula 2 racing commitments with another F1 outing in his role as ROKiT Williams Racing’s Test and Reserve Driver.
Following on from test runs in Bahrain and Spain, as well as practice outings on home soil in Canada and in France, Nicholas will get behind the wheel of the team’s Mercedes-powered FW42 for Friday’s opening 90-minute session in Belgium.
“It’s been a little while since I drove the car, so I’m excited to get back into it and continue my FP1 programme with the team,” he said.
“Since I last drove the car the team has introduced a number of development items. It’s clear the team has taken a step forward, which is encouraging. It will be interesting to see how noticeable the differences are.”
After Spa, the Formula 2 paddock will head straight to Italy for the high-speed Autodromo Nazionale Monza, where Nicholas took podium honours in 2017.
“I enjoy back-to-back race weekends, especially when you’re riding the positive momentum,” added Nicholas.
“Monza is unique as we run with such low downforce that it creates a completely different sensation with the car. We’re sliding a lot as there’s not much grip, and that makes it quite fun.
“The slipstream effect at Monza makes for some of the closest racing we get all year. Last season I did quite well, taking a fifth and a fourth, so there are some things I can carry over and some things to learn from as well.”
Nicholas’s Belgian weekend will begin with Formula 1 FP1 on Friday at 1100hrs local time (GMT +2), before Formula 2 practice at 1300hrs, and qualifying at 1655hrs.
That session will determine the grid order for Saturday’s Feature Race, scheduled for 1645hrs, with the outcome of that race setting the starting line-up for Sunday’s Sprint Race, at 1115hrs.
In Italy, Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1300hrs and 1655hrs respectively, with Saturday’s Feature Race at 1645hrs and Sunday’s Sprint Race at 1050hrs.