Williams F1 reserve Aitken to test Ed Carpenter Racing IndyCar

Williams Formula 1 reserve Jack Aitken has entered the frame as a potential Ed Carpenter Racing IndyCar driver in 2022, and will test for the squad next week.

Williams F1 reserve Aitken to test Ed Carpenter Racing IndyCar

With the US Air Force pulling its support for the #20 car which oval specialist and team owner Ed Carpenter shares with a road/street course driver, ECR has been freed up to enter discussions with non-American drivers.

As a result, 2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay’s candidacy for the ride has looked weaker and 26-year-old Aitken has emerged as a front-runner for the seat. 

The Briton made his F1 debut for Williams as a replacement for George Russell in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamilton's positive COVID-19 test prompted Russell's first Mercedes call-up, and has now recovered from injuries sustained in a Spa 24 Hours crash earlier this year.

His spun Emil Frey Lamborghini was hit by several cars over the blind crest of Raidillon, resulting in fractures to his scapula and a vertebra.  

Aitken, who has returned to Formula 2 this year in selected races for the HWA squad, is set to test for ECR at Sebring on Monday before contesting Free Practice 1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Williams.

Autosport understands that for now the test with Aitken is simply an “evaluation” and that no deal has been done for 2022.

Ryan Hunter-Reay has tested for ECR after splitting with Andretti Autosport

Ryan Hunter-Reay has tested for ECR after splitting with Andretti Autosport

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Two of Carpenter’s rivals who had spoken to Aitken in late summer were at that time convinced that he wasn’t yet keen to move to IndyCar and would instead remain in Europe.

This brings the car count at the test up to four, following the news that Formula E champion Nyck De Vries will drive for Meyer Shank Racing while his Mercedes FE team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne will try out for Arrow McLaren SP. The fourth car present will be Juncos Hollinger Racing's 2022 full-season driver Callum Ilott.

There is still much speculation regarding how a merger could work with between Juncos Hollinger and Carlin Racing, which has revealed nothing of its future in US open-wheel racing next year. No announcement is expected before Christmas.

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