Nicholas Latifi will become the latest Formula 2 driver to cross the Road to F1, following Williams’ confirmation that he will partner fellow graduate George Russell for the 2020 season.
The Canadian adds his name to the prestigious list of former F2 drivers on the F1 grid, joining the likes of Russell, Alex Albon, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc.
He is the current Williams test driver and has been touted for the second seat since Robert Kubica announced his departure in September. He is well versed in F1 machinery, having taken part in six FP1 sessions for the British team this season.
On his promotion, Latifi elated: “I'm extremely excited to be stepping up to a full-time F1 race drive next year. For me, it's a dream come true and something I've been working towards for almost half my life.
"It still feels a bit surreal. I don't think it will sink in fully until I'm on the grid in Melbourne next year.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity from Williams. I've had a very enjoyable first year there – right from my first day at the factory. There is a great atmosphere throughout the team and everyone made me feel comfortable straight away. That's important when you're stepping into a new environment.
“I can't wait to take the next step forward as a full-time race driver. I don't underestimate the challenge ahead, going into F1 as a rookie, but I'm extremely motivated and determined to give it my all. I'll give maximum effort and do whatever I can to help push the team forward and to achieve results we can be proud of.”
He joins on the back of a successful season in F2, narrowly missing out on the Drivers’ title following a gruelling battle with Nyck de Vries, that was only lost in the penultimate round at Sochi, Russia.
He matched the Dutchman’s tally of wins for the campaign, notching four across the campaign. The Canadian kicked the season off with a bang in Bahrain, where he dominated and won the Feature Race, ahead of Luca Ghiotto and Sergio Sette Camara on the podium.
He has raced for DAMS in all four of his full seasons in the Championship, and is on the verge of helping them to the Teams’ title this year. The French squad currently hold a 53-point lead going into the final round.
Good luck, Nicky!