Aitken to make Williams F1 debutposted in F109 | 07 | 2020

    SCOTS-KOREAN JACK AITKEN, the Williams F1 reserve driver, will make his grand prix weekend debut during this Friday morning’s official practice ahead of the Styrian GP in Austria. Aitken, whose father is originally from Carstairs, will take over George Russell’s car for the session.

    Aitken (24), a Formula 2 race winner and former Renault F1 reserve driver, joined the Williams Driver Academy for 2020. He also races for Campos in the 2020 F2 World Championship.

    And while he has previously conducted a number of test appearances for Renault, this Friday’s outing at the Red Bull Ring will be his first experience of an official grand prix session.

    Related: Alonso returns to Renault F1 for 2021/22

    “Driving in FP1 will be a pretty special occasion,” Aitken, who will also compete with Campos Racing in Formula 2 this weekend, said. “I’ll definitely be driving out of the pit lane with a smile on my face.”

    Aitken’s F1 drive was confirmed by Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson.

    “On Friday we will give Jack his first experience of the FW43 as he drives George’s car during FP1,” Robson explained. “Jack has been working hard with the engineers in Grove and we are looking forward to working with him at the track as we continue with our intensive test programme.”

    Related: Bottas wins dramatic Austrian GP

    Aitken, who scored one point on the opening F2 weekend of the delayed 2020 season at the Red Bull Ring, is first in line to step in for Williams should either of regular drivers — Russell, or Canadian Nicholas Latifi — contract Covid-19 this year.

    Given F1’s season-opening double-header event in Austria, Russell will not lose out much as he has already conducted a full weekend of running at the Red Bull Ring. The Englishman was forced to retire in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix at the same circuit when his Williams suffered a loss of fuel pressure.

    Related: Mitchell returns to British GT with Black Bull

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    Jim McGill


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