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Sirotkin joins Renault as reserve driver

NEWS STORY
27/02/2019

Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo will be joined by Sergey Sirotkin as third & reserve driver this season, with Jack Aitken as test driver. The quartet will be complemented by development driver Guanyu Zhou.

In Sirotkin, according to the press release, Renault gains an experienced driver who is well accustomed to modern F1 machinery. After spells as Renault test driver in 2016 and third & reserve driver in 2017, he graduated to a full-time F1 race seat in 2018 with Williams.

Sirotkin will dovetail his F1 commitments this year with a programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship with SMP Racing.

Aitken graduated from the Renault Sport Academy in 2019 after a three-year tenure, during which time he competed in the GP3 Series and FIA Formula 2 Championship. He took one race win last year as a rookie in the F1 support series, to which he will be returning this year with the Campos Racing team as part of his development programme.

The pair will share F1 support duties to allow them to fulfil their racing commitments outside F1, while also conducting crucial simulator and development work at the team's technical centre in Enstone.

"We're very happy to reveal our full 2019 driver line-up," said Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director. "It's a very strong and experienced team of drivers. Nico and Daniel are an exciting combination and will be strongly supported by Sergey, Jack and Guanyu. In Sergey's return, we have a driver who has experienced a full season racing in Formula 1 and that knowledge will be beneficial to developing our package. Jack has also impressed us when testing our Formula 1 machinery, while Guanyu will complement the experienced team. All of them have an important role to play this season and we look forward seeing them all in action."

"I am very pleased to rejoin my friends at Renault and return to Formula 1," said Sirotkin. "We are well acquainted with the team, I spent the whole of 2017 in their factory and in the garage.

"It will be interesting to learn how far Renault has advanced in the development of the car over the past year; last season we were rivals and I could not see the work from the inside. I am pleased to join the team as third & reserve Driver and work alongside Nico and Daniel."

"It's a great feeling to continue with Renault and I'm grateful for this opportunity," added Aitken. "I've been part of the team since 2016, so to remain for a fourth season is a privilege and I'm determined to repay Renault's faith in me.

"I drove the Formula 1 car a couple of times last year and I can't wait to sample the Renault R.S.19 this season in the rookie tests and give my best to develop the package in any way I can. Last year was a lot about learning, but I feel ready this season to do the job and get the results I'm aiming for as I continue my development pathway within Renault."

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