Latifi working towards securing F1 seat for 2019


Force India reserve driver Nicholas Latifi is eager to leave F2 behind and graduate to Formula 1 next season.

The 22-year-old will enjoy his first official F1 outing this weekend when he takes part with the Silverstone-based outfit in Friday morning's first free practice session in Montreal.

Latifi sees the milestone as a step in the direction he wants to take himself next year as the former Renault development driver looks at the possible overtures for 2019.

"It will obviously be very special for me," he told Le Journal de Montreal.

"Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg are expected to stay next year. But at Force India, we don't know the future of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

"I don't want to do another season of F2 in 2019. My goal is Formula 1," said Latifi.

The driver's father, Michael Latifi, is a successful Canadian business man who recently acquitted a stake in the McLaren group.

The young hopeful has been supported by his wealthy dad since he embarked on a career in motor racing, but financial backing alone won't get him to where he wants to be.

"You're not the first to talk about my father," Latifi said.

"But money is no guarantee of success in motor racing. I have proven that you also need concrete results in this business."

And anyone believing that his father's investment in McLaren offers him a direct pipeline to the Woking-based team is seriously misguided.

"This partnership has nothing to do with Nicholas," a McLaren spokesman recently said.

"We have no pressure to entrust him with driving one of our cars in the future. We only look for the best drivers."

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