Force India has confirmed that it has signed Nicholas Latifi as its official test and reserve driver for 2018. The Canadian was previously Renault's test driver, and raced in the Formula 2 championship during the 2017 season.
He picked up one win and a further eight podiums last season, finishing the year fifth in the standings. Force India confirmed that the 22-year old will take part in young driver test sessions and participate in a number of Friday practice sessions at Grand Prix events.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity," Latifi said. "Sahara Force India is a team that has shown constant improvement for the last few years and I’m proud to become a part of one of the success stories of Formula One. 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."
Team principal Vijay Mallya added: "Nicholas joins us off the back of a strong season in F2 and strengthens our driver development programme. He will support our simulator programme and work with the team during a number of Friday practice sessions next year.
"We have a long track record of bringing on young talented drivers and Nicholas will learn a huge amount as he gets embedded in the team, and looks forward to a career in Formula 1.”
Latifi made his test debut last August at the Hungaroring with Renault. GP3 champion George Russell had previously been tipped for the role, after he took part in two free practice sessions with Force India in Brazil and Abu Dhabi of last year.
Nico Hulkenberg, Paul Di Resta and the late Jules Bianchi are three names that have held Force India's reserve role in the past before making the jump to a full-time seat in F1.