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Force India announce Latifi as 2018 reserve driver

Written by  Jan 05, 2018

Force India has announced Formula 2 driver Nicholas Latifi as their new reserve driver for the upcoming 2018 F1 season.

The Canadian has completed four seasons in GP2/ F2 with last season somewhat of a breakout year scoring his first win at Silverstone along with eight other podiums en route to fifth in the standings.

His opportunity coincides with the FIA recently announcing tighter restrictions for drivers looking to participate in F1 practice sessions, with those restrictions weighed more heavily in favour of F2 drivers.

Former Force India tester Alfonso Celis Jr. was no longer eligible under the new rules and it is likely Latifi along with George Russell will fill the backup driver roles.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” he said. “I am eager to show the team what I can do and help them as they continue to close the gap to the front of the grid.”

Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya confirmed that Latifi would indeed be given several Friday outings as part of his new role and praised the 22-year-old.

“Nicholas joins us off the back of a strong season in F2 and strengthens our driver development programme," he said.

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