Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya

Latifi’s practice outings to be shared between Kubica and Russell’s cars

2019 F1 season

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Williams will divide Nicholas Latifi’s 2019 race weekend outings between the cars of its two race drivers, in a departure from the team’s previous practice.

Latifi will make his first of six appearances in the FW42 at an official race weekend in first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, his home event, on Friday. He will drive Robert Kubica’s car, but will also drive George Russell’s chassis later in year, and have a total of three runs in each.

This marks a change of approach for Williams, which has previously allocated one of its race drivers’ cars for use by a Friday practice driver. Last year Kubica served as their practice driver and his three outings were all in Sergey Sirotkin’s chassis.

The team did not run a practice driver in 2017 or 2016. Susie Wolff made four outings for them in 2014 and 2015, all in Valtteri Bottas’s chassis.

Before his race debut Bottas made 15 practice appearances for the team in 2012, all of which were in Bruno Senna’s chassis.

Latifi has already tested the team’s FW42 in Bahrain and Barcelona. “Nicholas will be involved fully in our race preparations,” said senior race engineer Dave Robson, “and alongside George will conduct some important testing of new components during FP1.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Latifi’s practice outings to be shared between Kubica and Russell’s cars”

  1. DAllein (@)
    4th June 2019, 14:58

    Looking for a replacement?

    Look, I am not against Kubica, but I don’t believe in fairy tales.
    His tale of coming back is already good enough for real life, expecting him to be the new Champion would be like a miracle… Which will not happen. Thinking different is, was and will be a mistake. And as of Williams – preparing to move forward, no matter how unpleasant this might be for Kubica and his fans, is the only right way.

    1. I doubt he’ll replace Kubica, there’s no reseon behind it. He’s not hyper fast, he’s not bringing as much knowledge and experience as Kubica and he’d need massive sponsorship. There’s bigger chance for Ocon to step in next year with a Mercedes/Williams deal.

    2. @dallein Couldn’t it just be that the Latifi money bought him double the sessions? Sporting wise, looking at Latifi’s performance against rookies Lando and George in F2 last year, I wonder if he’d even be faster than Kubica. In comparison, Russell seems to be performing at a very high level – certainly one of the future stars.

    3. At least give the guy till the end of the season!

      He’s been out of F1 for years and very nearly matching one of the best young drivers around. If anything, he has much more time to find, and I’m sure he will, than his F2 champion teammate who is on a roll.

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