Force India’s reserve and test Driver Nicholas Latifi will have his first opportunity to drive the VJM11 at Formula 1’s first in-season test following this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The test session gives the Canadian his first chance to work trackside with the team ahead of his Friday free practice outings later in the season. Latifi, who drives for the DAMS team in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, is confirmed to drive in FP1 at his home event in Montréal in June.

GP3 Series youngster and Force India’s longstanding Development Driver Nikita Mazepin will also get at go at the wheel, taking over duties from Latifi on the Wednesday.

A second VJM11 will be run at the test for the two days, working with Pirelli on its 2018 tyre development programme. Mercedes junior George Russell – who won the Azerbaijan Formula 2 Sprint Race in Baku from 12th on the grid – will work with Pirelli on the Tuesday with Latifi driving on the Wednesday.


A number of other teams are running young drivers as part of their obligation to allocate at least two full days of in-season test time to up and coming talent.

Renault junior driver Jack Aitken will have his first outing in a contemporary F1 car when he drives for the French squad on Wednesday after regular driver Carlos Sainz Jr. completes a test outing on Tuesday.

Fellow Formula 2 racing driver Sean Gelael will also be in action, having another outing for Toro Rosso Honda on the opening day of the test before Pierre Gasly drives the team’s STR13 on Wednesday.

Formula 2 Championship leader Lando Norris will drive the McLaren Renault MCL33 on both test days for a half-day apiece, sharing driving duties with Stoffel Vandoorne and long-time test driver Oliver Turvey.

Williams’ young driver Oliver Rowland will drive the Mercredes-powered FW41 for the first time on the Tuesday before handing over to reserve driver Robert Kubica.

Image via Force India F1 Team

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Luke McCullough

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Melbourne based and Australian Grand Prix enthusiast with over 10+ years of attendance.
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