Nicholas Latifi maintains he wants to get into Formula 1 on merit and not because his father’s millions bought him a race-seat.
Latifi took to his home track, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Friday’s first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, replacing Sergio Perez for the session.
The Force India test driver was slowest of those who set times and nine-tenths behind team-mate Lance Stroll.
It has raised questions about Latifi’s credentials, not helped by his father’s recent $272 million investment in McLaren.
The 22-year-old, though, insists if he gets into F1 it will be on merit, not money.
“My father has made an investment in McLaren but ultimately it has nothing to do with my racing career,” he told Reuters.
“It was a pure commercial opportunity.
“Whether I arrive in Formula One or not it is something I want to achieve with my performances on the track.
“In terms of how soon, the sooner the better for me but it is really going to depend by my performances in Formula 2 and whether I can get the necessary super-licence points.”
Latifi is already looking forward to his next drive in an F1 car.
“In general I am patient but the sooner the opportunity for my next opportunity comes in an F1 car the better. I’m here to learn.
“You learn a lot from sitting in on the debriefs and learn from listening to the experienced drivers, I can learn a lot from them.”