Renault Sport Formula One Team have confirmed Sergey Sirotkin as their test driver for the 2016 Formula 1 season.
The Russian will run in FP1 at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix in place of Kevin Magnussen. This will be his second F1 appearance after running for Sauber at the Sochi Autodrom in 2014. Last season, Sirotkin finished third in the GP2 Series for Rapax, behind Stoffel Vandoorne and Alexander Rossi.
For Sirotkin, he believes this is a great opportunity from Renault and is determined to learn as much as he can to do the best possible job for the Enstone-based team in Russia.
“This is a great opportunity for me, although it has all come together so quickly,” said Sirotkin. “I still can’t quite believe it. This is, however, the moment that all young racing drivers are working towards, and I am determined to learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can, doing the best possible job for the team while driving in Free Practice 1.
“Renault Sport, which I would like to thank, has shown many times that it is the best place for a driver to start his Formula One career, and I intend to make the most of this opportunity. My commitment to challenge for the GP2 Series title will be enhanced by such a great chance. I would like to thank SMP Racing for the great support given to my career, commencing in Sochi, in front of my compatriots.”
Since its creation in 2013, SMP Racing has backed young Russian drivers, achieving success across multiple motorsport series from karting upwards.
Frédéric Vasseur, Racing Director Renault Sport Racing added, “Sergey is one of the most promising drivers from the junior categories so it is great for us that he is joining Renault Sport. We saw that he was the most promising rookie in the GP2 Series last season, where he achieved a race win and podiums, and for 2016 he is very well placed to fight for the title.
“He has driven the Sochi Autodrom in a GP2 Series car previously so we have confidence in the job he will be able to do for us this weekend. For Renault Russia it is a good opportunity to harness the growing popularity of Russian motorsports, starting this weekend with the Russian Grand Prix and looking forward to the Moscow ePrix, which will be held again near the walls of the Kremlin on 4 June.”