Jack Aitken will remain the Williams reserve driver for 2021 and make at least one FP1 appearance for the team this season.
The British-Korean driver made his Formula 1 debut at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix, replacing George Russell who had been called up to Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19. Aitken also made an FP1 appearance in Austria and drove for the team during the post-season test, and he believes he will keep improving in the reserve role this year following those experiences.
“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,” Aitken said. “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 programs, to be announced shortly, which will aid me in this goal and provide opportunities to expand my skills even further.”
Williams was impressed by both Aitken’s simulator duties and his on-track performances, with team principal Simon Roberts saying his work ethic has made him a popular part of the line-up.
“We are pleased to retain Jack for the 2021 season,” Roberts said. “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.”
Aitken has raced in Formula 2 for the past three seasons but will not remain in the category this year.