Renault Sport Formula 1 Team have announced that Sergey Sirotkin will be promoted to third and reserve driver for the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Last season, the Russian was signed as a test driver, fulfilling these duties alongside his GP2 career with ART Grand Prix, he finished third in the Drivers’ Championship. He drove the R.S.16 on home soil at the Russian Grand Prix for Free Practice 1 as well as at Interlagos. This season will be different as Sirotkin will become a full member of the Renault squad, where he will attend all Grand Prix and will take part in unconfirmed amount of practice sessions.
Sirotkin understands that the practice sessions are an important element of race preparation, so his duty will be to fulfil all their targets.
“We had a very good experience working together last year and having this as a base we will make a step forward with a new role in 2017,” said Sirotkin. “FP1 sessions will be part of my programme.
“I know these sessions are an important element of race preparation for the team. So my duty in these is to fulfil all their targets, rather than just trying to set the fastest time I can at any given moment.”
Having secured the role as back-up for Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer, Sirotkin hopes to show Renault he is worthy of further opportunities, as he sets his sights on making his F1 race debut next year.
“I don’t think anyone would be surprised if I said that my main target for the 2018 season is to have a seat as a Formula 1 race driver and that’s what I’m working towards,” Sirotkin said.
“I’m here to learn and be an asset to the team as well as show that I am worthy of further opportunities.”
Sirotkin expects to learn something from both Palmer and Hulkenberg heading into this season.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s from Nico and Jolyon or from any situation, there is always a lot to learn in this life,” added Sirotkin.
“If I spend a day not getting better in some way, it’s a lost day. I will never change this approach to everything I do and of course, I expect to learn something from both of the race drivers and all of the team as well.”