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Sirotkin handed Sochi practice run by Renault

26 Apr 2016

Up-and-coming Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin has joined Renault as a test driver, and will make his first appearance for the team on home soil in Sochi this weekend.

The 20-year-old GP2 racer will replace regular driver Kevin Magnussen for the opening 90-minute practice session on Friday morning - his second F1 weekend appearance after a similar FP1 run for Sauber at the Russian track in 2014.   

“This is a great opportunity for me, although it has all come together so quickly,” said Sirotkin, who Renault say is on ‘a long term development plan’.

“I still can’t quite believe it. This is, however, the moment that all young racing drivers are working towards, and I am determined to learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can, doing the best possible job for the team while driving in Free Practice 1.

“Renault Sport, which I would like to thank, has shown many times that it is the best place for a driver to start his Formula One career, and I intend to make the most of this opportunity.”

Frederic Vasseur, Renault racing director, hailed the addition of Sirotkin, saying: “Sergey is one of the most promising drivers from the junior categories so it is great for us that he is joining Renault Sport.

“We saw that he was the most promising rookie in the GP2 Series last season, where he achieved a race win and podiums, and for 2016 he is very well placed to fight for the title. He has driven the Sochi Autodrom in a GP2 Series car previously so we have confidence in the job he will be able to do for us this weekend.

“For Renault Russia it is a good opportunity to harness the growing popularity of Russian motorsports, starting this weekend with the Russian Grand Prix.”

Sirotkin, who logged 411km of testing for Sauber in 2014, finished third in the GP2 Series last season behind McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne and Manor reserve Alexander Rossi, after scoring one win, five podiums and one pole position.