Williams Formula 1 reserve driver Jack Aitken will make his grand prix weekend debut outing during Friday morning practice ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix.

Aitken will drive George Russell’s car during opening free practice at the second event in Austria at the Red Bull Ring this weekend, with Williams taking the opportunity to hand its junior some valuable F1 seat time with no in-season testing this year.

The Campos Formula 2 driver has previously conducted a number of test appearances for Renault but he has never taken part in an official grand prix session.

“If the weather allows then this will be a rare opportunity to test some alternative approaches over a full race distance,” said Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson.

“On Friday we will also give Jack Aitken his first experience of the FW43 as he drives George’s car during FP1.

“Jack has been working hard with the engineers in Grove and we are looking forward to working with him at the track as we continue with our intensive test programme.”

Aitken, who scored one point on the opening F2 weekend of the delayed 2020 season at the Red Bull Ring, is first in line to step in for Williams should either of regular drivers contract COVID-19 this year.

The 24-year-old will subsequently be provided the chance to get himself up to speed in Williams’ 2020 machinery in the event he is needed later in the season.

The nature of the double-header event in Austria means Russell will not lose out much as he has already conducted a full weekend of running at the Red Bull Ring.



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