Canadian GP2 Series racer Nicholas Latifi has joined Renault’s revamped works Formula 1 team as a test driver, the team has confirmed.
“F1 is totally unlike any other category of motorsport, so being immersed in that environment I’ll be a bit like a sponge – absorbing as much information as possible. Hopefully, I can apply a lot of what I learn to my racing in GP2 this season,” Latifi said of his new opportunity.
The 20-year-old spent 2015 competing in his sophomore year of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, following a prior two-year stint in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
Latifi also had eight GP2 Series race outings in the back end of the year as one of a number of pilots in MP Motorsport’s ever-changing driver line-up.
He failed to finish in the points in seven race outings with the team, but this year will compete full-time for the championship-winning DAMS squad as teammate to Williams Racing development driver Alex Lynn.
Latifi’s appointment will see him participate in at least one Friday practice session. The Toronto-born driver will, however, need to secure an FIA Super License before he is allowed on-track. That will rely on him completing the necessary track mileage in a series of private or in-season tests given his results to-date suggest he is well short of yet being future F1 material.
Latifi joins the team’s French reserve driver Esteban Ocon, while Renault still seems to have links with the much maligned Carmen Jordá.
Images via GP2 Series Media