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Latifi set for more Force India outings

Nicholas Latifi (CDN) Sahara Force India F1 VJM11 Development Driver.
© XPB 

Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi is to get more opportunities to experience life behind the steering wheel of a modern Formula 1 car.

The 23-year-old Force India development driver will be taking part in the first Free Practice at the Hockenheimring next week. He will take over Esteban Ocon's car for the initial session of the German Grand Prix weekend.

The team says that they want to give their reserve driver more experience of working with the squad during a Grand Prix weekend.

He last took part in FP1 for his home race last month at Montreal.

"Making my practice debut at home was a special feeling," he said at the time. "I'm still learning about the VJM11 and I had to learn the track so to keep my nose clean was important."

Much of that session had been dedicated to aero work rather than setting fast lap times. "I was leaving some margin to avoid doing something silly while I was still building my confidence," he admitted.

Latifi will once again be doing double duty on Friday, jumping from the F1 car to his proper 'day job' in Formula 2 where he is competing for the DAMS team.

"Jumping from an F2 car to a Formula 1 is always enjoyable," he commented. "I am looking forward to other opportunities to be in the car in the future."

Latifi won't have to wait too long for another such chance, as he will also be taking part in the in-season test at the Hungaroring at the end of the month.

He will be in the car for the first day of the test on Tuesday July 31, before handing over to GP3 driver Nikita Mazepin on Wednesday.

Latifi previously carried out testing duties for the team in May at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Last year he was also called up by Renault for testing in Hungary.

Latifi has additionally been linked to a possible race seat at McLaren after it emerged that his father Michael was now a significant shareholder at the Woking-based squad.

However a spokesperson for McLaren insisted that there was no connection between the investment and Latifi's career as a potential F1 driver.

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

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