For the next few weeks, as we await the return of racing, Motorsport Week will delve into the archives to search out the first time that our grid of 2020 F1 racers stepped into top-level machinery in a public forum.
Latifi is still waiting to make his Formula 1 debut after the abortive trip to Australia but when the campaign begins he will do so with Williams, with whom he spent 2019 as test and reserve driver.
But prior to that he had spells at Force India and Renault, and also carried out behind-the-scenes running in old Mercedes machinery.
Latifi made several grand prix appearances with Williams and Force India but his first public run came courtesy of Renault in 2017.
Latifi shared track time at the in-season Hungaroring test with Robert Kubica, as the Pole plotted his eventual return to a race seat, which eventually came with Williams – before Latifi replaced him for 2020!
The Canadian, then in his second year of Formula 2, got behind the wheel of Renault’s R.S.17, before handing it over to Kubica for the following day.
It marked Latifi’s second outing for the team, having first trialled the R.S.17 a few weeks previously at a Pirelli-run tyre test behind closed doors.
“It was an amazing opportunity to drive a modern day F1 car,” he said. “The downforce, the bigger tyres, it was a cool experience.
“I found it quite easy to get up to speed and actually that surprised me. I approached it the same way as I approach any car. I was a bit uncertain before I jumped in, but after two laps I was fine. I had a big grin under the helmet when I drove it out of the pit lane, it was very impressive.
“There was so much grip, I was able to push very early which was good. I had a whole day in the car and I had to get up to speed quickly for the tyre test to get the right data for them.”