George Russell to step aside for Nicholas Latifi's France FP1 run

Nicholas Latifi in action for Williams F1 in Canada

Formula 2 title leader Nicholas Latifi will have another Formula 1 outing with Williams in France this weekend, this time in place of George Russell.

Latifi, formerly of Renault and Force India, linked up with Williams for 2019 as the team’s test and reserve driver, with his programme including six practice sessions.

The first of those came at his home event in Canada and the next will take place on Friday at Paul Ricard.

Williams has already confirmed that regular racers Russell and Robert Kubica will each miss three sessions, with the reigning Formula 2 champion to sit out FP1, as Kubica did two weeks previously.

Latifi currently heads the Formula 2 standings, one point clear of ex-McLaren junior Nyck de Vries.

“I’m excited to continue my FP1 programme with the team in France coming off a successful weekend in Canada,” said Latifi.

“Montreal had a lot of positives and I’m looking to build on those experiences going into Le Castellet.

“It’s quite a different track with a lot less risk involved due to the nature of the circuit which will give me confidence to push a bit harder.

“It’s also a weekend where I will be mixing my F1 duties with an F2 race weekend, which poses a unique challenge. I’m more than up for it and looking forward to what will be a very busy weekend.”