The Canadian driver was announced as Williams reserve prior to the 2019 Formula season, and was expected to experience his first outing at the Barcelona pre-season test, but Williams’ delay in arriving meant that the team thought it best to give their race drivers Robert Kubica and George Russell as much time in the car as possible and so Latifi sat out both tests.
Meanwhile, George Russell, Williams’ regular driver joins World Championship leaders and winner of last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix Mercedes to give him a taste of their 2019 car.
Russell remains a part of Mercedes’ driver programme and is expected to join the team at some point in future and so they have an interest in his development as a Grand Prix driver.
Being able to test a car capable of running at the front of the field from time to time will no doubt help Russell in his preparation for a future competing for podiums and wins.
Williams will also hope that the experience and knowledge Russell gains whilst at Mercedes will help their own progress in getting back to competitiveness.
Williams have endured a torrid start to 2019, missing the beginning of the pre-season test in Barcelona, parting ways with CTO Paddy Lowe and languishing at the back of every single session thus far.
Russell has bettered his team-mate Robert Kubica so far in 2019 – a season that is quickly becoming an exercise in dealing with disappointment and maintaining a positive outlook in the face of adversity for the young Englishman.
Williams will hope that they can turn around their fortunes sooner rather than later, and in doing so furnish Russell and Kubica with a car with which they can challenge for points.