Nicholas Latifi will remain with the DAMS team for the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship season. It will be the Williams F1 team reserve driver’s fourth year with the French outfit, which finished third overall in this year’s Teams’ Championship standings.

The 23-year-old Canadian made his Formula 2 – then GP2 Series – debut in 2014 with Hilmer Motorsport, followed by a part-season campaign in 2015 with MP Motorsport. He joined DAMS’ line-up full-time the following year and has remained there ever since, claiming two wins and thirteen podium finishes to-date.

After finishing the 2017 season fifth overall, a pre-season illness robbed him of vital testing mileage in the all-new car and he struggled to adapt to the new machinery. The second half of his 2018 season proved much more competitive, with victory in the reversed-grid Sprint Race at Spa-Francorchamps followed by a podium in the Feature Race at Sochi.

“My aims for this year are quite clear, I want to compete for the drivers’ title and help DAMS win the Teams’ Championship,” Latifi said.

“The potential has been there for us to fight at the front, but we had some bad luck early on in 2018. My best performances came in the last few rounds, so hopefully we can continue that strong form into 2019.

“Driving for DAMS has given me the opportunity to showcase my abilities, which has helped in securing my F1 role with Williams, and I’m excited to be returning for another season.”

Nicholas Latifi, DAMS - 2018 Formula 2 Race of Belgium

Latifi comes with substantial financial backing thanks to his father’s controlling interest in the Sofina Foods conglomerate, which is one of the largest meat, poultry, seafood and delicatessen product suppliers in Canada and the United States.

DAMS owner Jean-Paul Driot added: “It is very satisfying to welcome back Nicholas for another year.

“He recovered from illness at the start of last season and his performances in the second half showed he was capable of fighting for the title.

“As we have done in the past, our objective is to fight for both titles. He already has one foot in F1 and we will do everything to help Nicholas into a full-time drive, as we did with [Alexander] Albon.”

Latifi’s teammate is as yet unconfirmed, although Brazilian Sérgio Sette Câmara – who raced for Carlin Motorsport this year and finished sixth overall with eight podium finishes – is understood to be the firm favourite to land the drive.

2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Provisional Entry List
Team Drivers
Carlin Motorsport uk Nobuharu Matsushita TBA
ART Grand Prix fr Nikita Mazepin Nyck de Vries
DAMS fr Nicholas Latifi TBA
UNI Virtuosi Racing uk UNI-Virtuosi Racing Guan Yu Zhou Luca Ghiotto
Prema Racing it Mick Schumacher de Sean Gelael
Charouz Racing System cz TBA TBA
Campos Racing es TBA TBA
MP Motorsport TBA TBA
Arden International uk TBA TBA
Trident Racing it Giuliano Alesi TBA

Images via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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