Canadian racer Nicholas Latifi will drive a Formula One car on home soil in 2018 after Sahara Force India confirmed he will take part in the Friday Free Practice session at the Canadian Grand Prix (8-10 June).
The 22-year-old was revealed as the British F1 team’s 2018 reserve and test driver at the beginning of January and one of his driving duties for the new season will be a stint behind the wheel during Free Practice at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
“I’ve never raced or even driven at the track so this will be my first opportunity to experience an amazing track. I’m super excited about driving the car in front of the Canadian fans and I’m sure it will be a highlight of the season,” Nicholas said.
“I will try and enjoy the moment, but I’m well aware that the priority is simply to work through the practice programme and give the team all the information they need.”
Nicholas, a race winner and nine-time podium finisher in the FIA Formula Two Championship during 2017, will take part in a number of F1 free practice sessions this year as he bids to eventually secure an F1 race seat.
And he’ll get the chance to acquaint himself with Sahara Force India’s 2018 challenger almost straight away. He will drive the car for the first time during a pre-season test at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (26 February – 1 March).
“I’m really excited to be getting in the car so soon. I will be driving the last day of the first week, which is ideal because it will give me a few more days to observe how the team works and hear the feedback of [Sahara Force India drivers] Esteban [Ocon] and Sergio [Perez],” Nicholas explained.
“I know that track time is critical early in the season so my goal is to make sure I give the team the best possible feedback and help with the car development.”
As well as supporting his Sahara Force India team on track, Nicholas has also embarked on a driving programme in the team’s simulator – a valuable asset that is key to developing a Formula One car outside of permitted on-track test sessions.