Aitken to continue as Williams reserve driver

2021 F1 season

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Jack Aitken will remain with Williams as the team’s reserve driver for the 2021 F1 season.

The 25-year-old made his F1 debut in the Sakhir Grand Prix last year as a substitute for George Russell, which he described as “one of the most special moments of my career to date”. He will reappear for the team in one first practice session during the upcoming season.

“In my short time at Grove I have already found many friends, and a deep desire for success as a team,” said Aitken, who joined the team from Renault at the beginning of last season.

“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.”

Aitken indicated he intends to race in other series during 2021. He spent the last three years in Formula 2, winning four times.

Williams team principal said Aitken “is a great talent and quickly became a much-liked member of the team” last year.

“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.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Aitken to continue as Williams reserve driver”

  1. Meanwhile Nissany gets a whole day of pre season testing and will surely get more than half a dozen FP1 outings.

    Why is it that apart from Norris and Perez, talent and money seem to be almost negatively correlated?

    1. I actually think Lance Stroll isn’t too bad of a driver @wsrgo. And having money did not hurt Leclerc either.

      One could even argue that Mazepin is clearly a talented driver. Even though he also clearly lacks a lot of good sense. I guess growing up with that much money makes it harder to become a good person, since people around you tend not to want to upset you (and your parents) by critisizing you when it would help you mature. Depends a lot on the parenting as well though.

      1. @bascb I don’t think Leclerc was rich enough to get to F1 and/or buy extensive mileage for himself. He was heading for a second season in Euro F3 in 2016 before getting into the FDA and being able to get financial backing to get an ART seat in GP3.

        I think Stroll is F1 worthy but I don’t see a potential consistent frontrunner in him. Mazepin is just simply not F1 worthy, even aside from the incident last year. It needed him getting extensive private testing in F2 and single-minded attention from a Hitech team that poached several engineers from other teams like Campos, to finish fifth in his second season in F2, and I don’t for one second think he’s any better than the Cecottos and Canamasases of old in terms of on-track antics.

      2. @bascb I didn’t think Leclerc did come from money *as such, obviously everything is proportional, but with Mazepin and Stroll we’re talking super super rich, buy an F1 team rich.

    2. Not quite that strongly correlated I suspect @wsrgo, but a) if you don’t have money, but do have talent, you still can make it to F2, and thus in the running for F1 (or even skip it in case of Verstappen, who didn’t have that sort of money, though enough talent and backing in the form of relationships to get into F1) and possibly b) if you do have money, you might be slightly less focused/forced to put all effort into showing you really can do it. Though that latter is a bit at odds with the competitive nature of high-level sport.

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