GP2 racer Sirotkin gets Renault F1 development deal, Sochi FP1 laps

GP2 frontrunner Sergey Sirotkin will drive for Renault in first practice at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix after signing a long-term development deal with the Formula 1 team

GP2 racer Sirotkin gets Renault F1 development deal, Sochi FP1 laps

The 20-year-old, who was formerly involved with Sauber and drove in Russian GP practice for the Swiss team in 2014, will replace Kevin Magnussen for FP1 at Sochi on Friday.

Renault's racing director Frederic Vasseur said: "Sergey is one of the most promising drivers from the junior categories so it is great for us that he is joining Renault.

"We saw that he was the most promising rookie in GP2 last season [finishing third in the standings], and for 2016 he is very well placed to fight for the title.

"He has driven the Sochi Autodrom previously so we have confidence in the job he will be able to do for us this weekend."

Sirotkin, who will race for Vasseur's ART team in GP2 this year, added: "I still can't quite believe it.

"This is a great opportunity, although it has come together so quickly.

"This is 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.

"Renault has shown many times that it is the best place for a driver to start his Formula 1 career, and I intend to make the most of this opportunity."

Sirotkin's deal also marks the start of a collaboration between Renault and the Russian SMP Racing entity, which supports drivers and teams at several levels of motorsport.

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