Renault F1 team gives reserve driver role to Jack Aitken

Renault has appointed Jack Aitken to the role of third and reserve driver for the 2018 Formula 1 campaign

Renault F1 team gives reserve driver role to Jack Aitken

Aitken, a member of the Renault Sport Academy, completed his second year in GP3 last season.

He finished second overall, behind ART Grand Prix team-mate and Mercedes protege George Russell.

The pair will race together in the junior single-seater team's Formula 2 outfit in 2018.

By graduating to F2 for 2018, Aitken, who drove a 2012 Lotus-built Renault F1 car last September as a reward for his 2017 GP3 campaign, is the most senior RSA member.

"Jack has been nurtured in the Renault Sport Academy so we've seen his development over the past couple of years," said Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul.

"It is clear he's a talented young driver and he is ready for this opportunity.

"He has a full season ahead of him with racing in Formula 2 and fulfilling his Formula 1 commitments.

"He has the perfect environment to reach his targets and we are keen on seeing him in action."

Aitken said: "It feels amazing to take up the role as third and reserve driver.

"It hasn't quite processed yet, but I'm going to step up my involvement with the team quite a lot.

"Over the first Barcelona test, it will start to feel real and sink in a little bit more.

"The role gives me an opportunity to be closer to Nico and Carlos and learn from them, as well as observing the race team, the engineers and how everything operates."

Formula 2 veteran Artem Markelov will also join the team as test and development driver alongside continuing to race for Russian Time on the F1 support bill.

"Renault is a standout name in Formula 1 so to sign for them is a really significant step in my career," said the Russian.

"This year will consist of a lot of listening and learning and taking the opportunity when it comes.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I've had a busy winter of preparing for what will be a demanding season of test driving and racing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Russian Time."

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