Canadian teenager Nicholas Latifi is to complete Prema Powerteam FIA European F3 line-up for 2014 following his move from Carlin.
The 18-year-old Toronto native has decided to stay in the top F3 class after a delicate opening season that saw him take 15th in the European Championship and 5th overall in the British Series.
While not the most stellar of seasons on paper, Latifi appeared to improve gradually as the season progressed, with the round at Brands Hatch being a particular turning point. As the year progressed, Latifi continued to score minor points, but spent far more time closer to the points paying action, unlike his pre-summer efforts.
It is a series of form and confidence that the Canadian hopes to build on this year. “Next season is a very important year for me and I’m confident that with the experience and knowledge of the team, combined with my abilities, we will be consistently challenging up at the front,” said Latifi. He also noted: “I enjoyed some positive days of winter testing with them and felt comfortable in their working environment.”
Prema Powerteam will not be the easiest of environments for Latifi. Alongside the Canadian will be incoming hotshots Antonio Fuoco and Esteban Ocon – both of whom enjoy the backing of Formula One squads Ferrari and Lotus respectively. The final seat is taken up by Dutch racer Dennis van de Laar.
Despite his progress to the FIA European F3 Championship last year, Latifi has enjoyed precious little experience in motorsport, having only moved to car racing two years ago.
According to Prema Powerteam’s team principal Rene Rosin, how Latifi dealt with that lack of experience raised his reputation significantly. “Despite being a rookie, he showed no reverential awe and it was this kind of fighting spirit that convinced us to have him in our team. We will provide him with all the support he needs to grow up even further.”