Jack Aitken has been named as part of the Renault Sport Academy for a third consecutive year as he prepares to move up to the FIA Formula 2 championship with ART Grand Prix.

The British-Korean driver finished 2017 as runner-up to George Russell in the GP3 Series and will move up to the main Formula 1 support class for the upcoming season. After enjoying a maiden year with ART Grand Prix last year in GP3, Aitken remains with the French team in his switch up to F2.

The deal was announced simultaneously with the confirmation he has been retained by the Renault junior programme for a third straight year to become the longest-serving junior in the F1 team’s current roster.

The 22-year-old was handed his F1 test debut last year in a 2014-specificaiton Renault and alongside his debut F2 campaign he is relishing the chance for more opportunities to work as an F1 development driver in the Renault fold.

“It’s always nice to continue and I think 2018 will be very exciting as I’m moving up to Formula 2 and taking another step towards Formula 1, which is the ultimate goal,” Aitken said. “I’m happy as always and it’s nice to have settled in at Enstone after a couple of years. To be here for 2018 means a lot and I’m looking forward to the start of the season.

“I need to be the senior driver in terms of showing the way and getting the results in any championship I’m in. It’s the same for the drivers who have just entered and are the youngest in the academy so it doesn’t change too much. You want to be next in line to get into the Formula 1 car so it’s all about results.”

With Sergey Sirotkin set to join Williams, Aitken currently stands as Renault's next choice behind full-time drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr but the Brit is keen to focus on proving himself in F2 before thinking too far ahead.

“I’d like to be on the pace straight away so that means when everything falls into place we will be challenging for outright pole positions and victories,” he said. “A bit of experience, especially at the level of Formula 2, does help so it will be a challenge to find some consistency and learn about the tyres and the new car.

“I will be aiming to keep scoring points and chip away at podiums and wins here and there. I’d like to be finishing in the top five in what will be a strong grid.”