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Renault retain 'sharp and focused' Sirotkin as reserve driver for 2020

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SOCHI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Sergey Sirotkin of Russia and Renault Sport F1 and McLaren F1 waves

Former Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin will extend his stay at Renault, after the French manufacturer handed him reserve driver duties for the 2020 Formula 1 campaign.

The Russian held the role with the team in 2017 and again last year, spending the season in between racing for Williams, where he made 21 Grand Prix starts.

WATCH: Re-live last year's thrilling Austrian Grand Prix with the race highlights

Sirotkin will join the race team in Austria this weekend, as Formula 1 restarts its engines for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring – and throughout the season.

Reserve drivers have taken on added importance given the coronavirus pandemic, and could be called into action during the race weekend if a race driver returns a positive COVID-19 test or is forced to isolate having come into contact with someone who has tested positive.

Given the current circumstances we find ourselves in, we must have plans in place for any situation which might occur

Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul

“It’s great to be back with Renault DP World F1 Team as Reserve Driver,” said Sirotkin. “I know the team very well having been with them throughout the 2019 season. I understand the importance for a team to have a driver ready to fill in quickly should the opportunity arise, especially given the current situation the world is in.

“I’ve been keeping sharp and focused and I would be well prepared to race a Formula 1 car again. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at Renault soon.”

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Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul added: “We’re pleased to welcome Sergey back to the team for this year. Given the current circumstances we find ourselves in, we must have plans in place for any situation which might occur. We know Sergey very well and he, likewise, knows the team. We’re looking forward to welcoming Sergey this weekend in Austria.”

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