Williams retains Aitken as reserve F1 driver for 2021

Williams has retained the services of Jack Aitken to serve as its reserve driver for the 2021 Formula 1 season, after the Anglo-Korean driver made his debut last season.

Williams retains Aitken as reserve F1 driver for 2021

Aitken filled in at the team for regular driver George Russell at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, who had in turn substituted for Lewis Hamilton after the reigning world champion contracted COVID-19 ahead of the second race in Bahrain.

Finishing 16th, Aitken had recovered from a small crash at the final corner in which he dislodged his front wing, which brought out a safety car - ironically causing a chain of events that contrived to deny Russell a maiden F1 victory.

Aitken also took part in an FP1 session in 2020 at the Styrian Grand Prix and will once again perform FP1 duties later in the season as he continues his development work with the Williams team, having also driven in the end-of-season Abu Dhabi test.

"After providing me with one of the most special moments of my career to date last year, I am absolutely delighted to continue with Williams in the position of reserve driver," said Aitken.

"In my short time at Grove I have already found many friends, and a deep desire for success as a team.

"The professionalism and work ethic of everyone here is something that makes me wear my kit with pride, and having had a taste of racing in last year's Sakhir Grand Prix, I am fully intent on providing as much support as possible while continuing my development as a race driver.

"I will complement this role with other programmes, to be announced shortly, which will aid me in this goal and provide opportunities to expand my skills even further."

Aitken doubled up his F1 duties in 2020 with his third Formula 2 campaign, racing for the Campos team for a second season having previously driven at ART as Russell's teammate.

He is not expected to continue in the category in 2021 and has been linked with a move to sportscars to supplement his Williams reserve role.

"We are pleased to retain Jack for the 2021 season," said team principal Simon Roberts.

"He is a great talent and quickly became a much-liked member of the team. He really impressed us with his performance at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year in Bahrain, stepping up to the challenge at short notice to put in a strong performance over the course of the weekend.

"Jack is a talented individual that works incredibly hard, and we look forward to seeing him contribute to the team once again this season."

shares
comments

Related video

Haas reveals livery for VF-21 car ahead of new F1 season

Previous article

Haas reveals livery for VF-21 car ahead of new F1 season

Next article

"Not proud" Mazepin vows to learn from video incident

"Not proud" Mazepin vows to learn from video incident
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jack Aitken
Teams Williams
Author Jake Boxall-Legge
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Prime

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021 Prime

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021