Renault academy role adds no pressure to GP3 campaign, says Aitken

Reigning Formula Renault Eurocup champion Jack Aitken says his new status as a protege of the Renault Formula 1 team will not add any pressure to his rookie GP3 Series campaign

Renault academy role adds no pressure to GP3 campaign, says Aitken

The 20-year-old, who also won the second-level Formula Renault ALPS series in 2015, steps up to GP3 this year with Arden International.

Aitken is one of three FR2.0 graduates selected for the Renault Sport Academy, a revival of the French manufacturer's Driver Development scheme of the 2000s that aided Robert Kubica, Lucas di Grassi and Heikki Kovalainen.

"It's really great," said Aitken. "If I do well there's reward at the end.

"If I do badly there will be consequences, but I'm not here to finish sixth, seventh or eighth anyway.

"It's nice to have Renault there in the background - I've been spending a lot of time at Enstone [the site of the Renault F1 team] to get a feel for it."

Aitken believes the nature of GP3 - with reversed grids and Pirelli tyres often mixing things up - can benefit series rookies, because championships are less frequently won in GP3 by those who score heavily from the outset than in other categories.

"The thing with GP3 is we've got such a wide variety of title challengers," he said.

"It's not just the guy winning at the start who wins the title - at Arden they had Daniil Kvyat coming back to win it in 2013 [the Russian was eighth in points with three rounds remaining].

"It's a series where you can turn the tables quite quickly - you just don't know what to expect because different drivers are quick at different times."

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