The Williams Racing F1 Team has announced that it has extended its contract of Jack Aitken who will continue to serve as the team’s Official Reserve Driver in the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Aitken joined the Grove-based outfit last year, taking on the role of the reserve driver. The 25-year-old driver completed his first official outing at the Red Bull Raing, taking part in an FP1 session. Following that weekend, he undertook vital development work in the team’s simulator at Grove throughout the season.
The British-Korean driver made his shock debut in Formula One at the Sakhir Grand Prix, standing in for George Russell, who was drafted in to replace the coronavirus-infected Lewis Hamilton.
Williams has now confirmed that Aitken will be retained for 2021. He will continue his work in the simulator, will take part in a second FP1 session for the team later this season and support the team in media and marketing activities throughout the year as he continues to develop as a race driver.
We're pleased to confirm that @JaitkenRacer will remain in an Official Reserve Driver role for 2021 👊— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) March 4, 2021
Simon Roberts, Team Principal of Williams Racing added: “We are pleased to retain Jack for the 2021 season. 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,” Roberts said.
The London-bor driver started his single-seater career in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series in 2015, finishing second before joining the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship in the following year. He was crowned champion in this series in 2015 while he also won the Formula Renault 2.0 Alp and the Pro Mazda Winterfest in the same year.
The 2016 season saw Aitken compete in the GP3, the Euroformula Open, the Spanish Formula 3 and the Formula V8 3.5 series. He finished runner-up in the GP3 Series behind George Russell while he has competed in the Formula 2 Championship since 2018.
Speaking about the announcement, Jack Aitken said: “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. 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.”