Jack Aitken leaves Renault for Williams reserve role

Jack Aitken has swapped Renault for Renault as he continues his bid to make the F1 grid. Sutton Images

Former Renault academy driver Jack Aitken has been named Williams' reserve driver for the 2020 season as he continues his push to make the Formula One grid.

Aitken, 24, left Renault ahead of what will be his third season in feeder category Formula 2. He won three races in 2019 on route to finishing fifth in the championship and had been Renault's test and development driver over the previous two seasons.

Aitken's role with Williams will include at least one Friday practice session. Beyond full-time drivers George Russell and Canadian rookie Nicholas Latifi the team has two other drivers on its books -- reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick and former Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum are with the team in developmental roles, although neither have a Friday practice session allocated to them this year. Israeli driver Roy Nissany has also joined as a test driver ahead of the upcoming campaign.

As well as contesting some FP1s, the announcement said Aitken "will attend all F1 Grands Prix during the year, integrating himself into the trackside team and be on hand should the need arise to replace one of the race drivers."

Aitken will feel confident of forcing his way into F1 contention for the 2021 season -- Russell, a Mercedes developmental talent, is expected to make the step up to the reigning world champions after this season.

Aitken joins Williams on the back of the worst season in its F1 history, but he is relishing the prospect of helping the former world champions' bid to return to the front end of the grid.