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Jack Aitken ‘Not Shocked’ by Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault Departure

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Jack Aitken admits he was not shocked by Daniel Ricciardo announcing his departure from the Renault F1 Team at the end of the current campaign, and he feels the Renault Sport Academy is not all it’s made up to be.

Aitken, who will race for Campos Racing for a second consecutive campaign in the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2020, made his own decision to leave the Renault Sport Academy at the end of last season and is now the third and reserve driver for Williams Racing.

With Ricciardo leaving to join the McLaren F1 Team for 2021, there is a vacancy at Renault, but Aitken does not that anyone in the young driver programme will get selected to partner Esteban Ocon, and he feels he has a better chance of making it to a race seat in Formula 1 with Williams.

“I would like to say for the most part I did see something like this coming, and I’m not shocked that Daniel’s left,” said Aitken to RACER. “I think it’s the next move of who they replace him with that is more the reason why I’m happy to stick with my guns.

“I saw it coming, I’m just not confident that they’re necessarily as invested in their junior driver academy as the junior drivers might hope.

“I felt like there was less chance of progression there. There’s a lot of rumours — you probably know more than I do — a certain Fernando [Alonso] sniffing around… If they were to bring in someone like that I wouldn’t be surprised — they do seem to need a bit of a team leader — and I’d be thinking, ‘Well, what’s the point of being here?’

“I did see more of a path for progression with Williams. I’m going to stick to my guns here and say I saw it coming and it’s all going to turn out fine! It’s definitely one that I’m watching with a lot of interest, not just because of my history with Renault but just as a fan it’s an intriguing story, I think.”

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