RACE DEBRIEF

    Williams have retained their super-sub Jack Aitken – who raced for them in last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix – as reserve driver for 2021.

    Aitken, 25, made his F1 race debut in the penultimate round last season, standing in for George Russell, who in turn replaced a Covid-hit Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, in the sensational 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

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    As reserve driver to Russell and Nicholas Latifi once more, Aitken's role will continue to involve simulator sessions and trackside work, with a second career FP1 appearance to come over this 23-race season along with media and marketing duties.

    “After providing me with one of the most special moments of my career to date last year, I am absolutely delighted to continue with Williams in the position of reserve driver,” he said.

    F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir
    Jack Aitken made his Grand Prix debut at Sakhir as Lewis Hamilton tested positive for Covid-19 late last year

    “In my short time at Grove I have already found many friends, and a deep desire for success as a team. The professionalism and work ethic of everyone here is something that makes me wear my kit with pride, and having had a taste of racing in last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix, I am fully intent on providing as much support as possible while continuing my development as a race driver.

    “I will complement this role with other programmes, to be announced shortly, which will aid me in this goal and provide opportunities to expand my skills even further,” he said.

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    Aitken took two podiums for Campos Racing in last year’s Formula 2 championship, after clinching three wins and seven podiums in 2019. He finished runner-up in the 2017 GP3 series and won the 2015 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS titles.

    Williams are to unveil their 2021 FW43 on March 5, having already shaken the car down at Silverstone with Team Principal Simon Roberts and CEO Jost Capito heading the team after the departure of the founding Williams family last year.

    Team Principal Roberts added: “We are pleased to retain Jack for the 2021 season. He is a great talent and quickly became a much-liked member of the team. He really impressed us with his performance at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year in Bahrain, stepping up to the challenge at short notice to put in a strong performance over the course of the weekend.

    “Jack is a talented individual that works incredibly hard, and we look forward to seeing him contribute to the team once again this season.”

    This week, the team also confirmed W Series winner Jamie Chadwick as development driver.