Renault signs Nicholas Latifi to test role

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Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi has joined Renault as a test driver.

Latifi has been signed to a "long-term development programme" which aims to see him participate in at least one Friday practice session in 2016. The 20-year-old is also set to drive alongside Williams development driver Alex Lynn for GP2 outfit DAMS this season.

Latifi hopes his new role helps him acquire the experience he needs to make the step up to Formula One in future.

"Being named test driver for the Renault Sport Formula One Team is something very special -- an amazing opportunity," he said. "There's a lot of history behind the Renault name in F1, so to be a part of that, and get the chance to learn from them and gain expertise in a full factory team, is really going to help my development.

"My dream has always been to reach Formula One, and there's a lot of hard work still to do, but this is another step towards me fulfilling my potential and earning my place on the grid. F1 is totally unlike any other category of motorsport, so being immersed in that environment I'll be a bit like a sponge -- absorbing as much information as possible. Hopefully, I can apply a lot of what I learn to my racing in GP2 this season."

Renault boss Frederic Vasseur said: "Nicholas is a fast developing young talent who has competed in a diverse selection of championships in his short career to date. We are excited at the prospect of nurturing him into a Formula One ready entity at such a dynamic time for the team. As well as contesting the GP2 Series -- which is a perfect proving ground for new drivers -- Nicholas will go through a programme with us to attain his Super Licence with a view to contesting at least one FP1 session this year. We're proud to have him on board."