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Renault sign Latifi to test driver role

14 Mar 2016

Renault have signed Canadian GP2 racer Nicholas Latifi as their official test driver, it was announced on Monday.

The 20-year-old joins on a long-term development programme, with Renault saying he will be put through a test schedule to enable him to gain a Super Licence, thereby allowing him to participate in at least one FP1 session during the course of the season.

“Nicholas is a fast developing young talent who has competed in a diverse selection of championships in his short career to date,” said Frédéric Vasseur, racing director of Renault Sport.

“We are excited at the prospect of nurturing him into a Formula 1 ready entity at such a dynamic time for the team. As well as contesting the GP2 Series - which is a perfect proving ground for new drivers - Nicholas will go through a programme with us to attain his Super Licence with a view to contesting at least one FP1 session this year. We’re proud to have him on board.”

Latifi described being named test driver for Renault as an “amazing opportunity”.

“There’s a lot of history behind the Renault name in F1, so to be a part of that, and get the chance to learn from them and gain expertise in a full factory team, is really going to help my development,” he said.

"My dream has always been to reach Formula One, and there’s a lot of hard work still to do, but this is another step towards me fulfilling my potential and earning my place on the grid.

 "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 will race for DAMS in GP2 in 2016 - the same team with which Renault driver Jolyon Palmer won the series in 2014. He has previously scored podiums in Formula Renault 3.5 and European and British F3.