Jack Aitken has been announced as Williams Racing reserve driver for the 2021 season.
The British-Korean driver who spent three seasons in Formula 2 was given a one-off appearance for Williams at the Sakhir Grand Prix when George Russell was called up to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes after the World Champion tested positive for COVID-19.
Aitken looked to set to be given a second outing in the Williams for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix until Hamilton was declared fit to race just hours before practice began in Yas Marina forcing Russell back in the Williams and Aitken on the sidelines.
Nevertheless, Aitken is hopeful that he can continue his development as a driver and help the team move up the grid.
“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.”
Team principal Simon Roberts expressed his delight at keeping Aitken on for another season as he praised the British-Korean as a hard worker who has become a much-liked member of the team.
“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.”
Aitken's 2021 plans have yet to be revealed.