Jack Aitken will make his F1 debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend after being promoted from his reserve driver role at Williams Racing to replace the Mercedes-bound George Russell.

Russell will join the title-winning team for the second of back-to-back races to be held in Bahrain after being called up to replace Lewis Hamilton, who has been forced to withdraw from the penultimate round of the 2020 F1 season after contracting coronavirus.

It means Russell’s vacated seat at Williams will be assumed by Aitken, who subsequently gets his F1 shot in the year he switched from Renault’s driver programme to become the British tream’s reserve racer.

 

 

Runner-up to Russell in the 2017 GP3 Series, Aitken - who is of Korean descent but races under the British flag - has spent the past three seasons  competing in F2, where he has accumulated four victories and 11 podiums.

“I’m absolutely over the moon to have the opportunity to make my debut with Williams this coming weekend and I am extremely happy for George to have his chance too! 

“I really mean it when I say I’ve felt very much at home here since I joined Williams earlier this year, so to get my chance to help the team try to achieve that elusive points finish is an extremely satisfying occasion to say the least. 

“I’ll be doing all I can to prepare in the coming days, but truthfully, I feel like I have been ready since Melbourne. I also want to wish Lewis well in his recovery, and good luck to George getting the chance to drive the Mercedes this weekend.”

Aitken is the second driver making their F1 debut in Bahrain this weekend after Pietro Fittipaldi was picked to replace a convalescing Romain Grosjean at Haas.

 

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