Sergey Sirotkin has returned to his former team Renault in the role of third and reserve driver following a year racing for Williams.
The Russian spent two years with Renault before being handed a race seat alongside Lance Stroll last year, enduring a tough rookie season but impressing in a difficult and uncompetitive car. For 2019, Williams has gone with the driver line-up of Robert Kubica and George Russell, so Renault has moved to bring Sirotkin back as the reserve to Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.
“I am very pleased to rejoin my friends at Renault F1 Team and return to Formula 1,” Sirotkin said. “We are well acquainted with the team, I spent the whole of 2017 in their factory and in the garage.
“It will be interesting to learn how far Renault has advanced in the development of the car over the past year; last season we were rivals and I could not see the work from the inside.”
As well as announcing Sirotkin’s return, Renault has retained the services of Formula 2 racer Jack Aitken in the role of test driver, while Guanyu Zhou has already been announced as a development driver.
“We’re very happy to reveal our full 2019 driver line-up,” Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul said. “It’s a very strong and experienced team of drivers. Nico and Daniel are an exciting combination and will be strongly supported by Sergey, Jack and Guanyu.
“In Sergey’s return, we have a driver who has experienced a full season racing in Formula 1 and that knowledge will be beneficial to developing our package. Jack has also impressed us when testing our Formula 1 machinery, while Guanyu will complement the experienced team. All of them have an important role to play this season and we look forward seeing them all in action.”