Jack Aitken will cover for George Russell at Williams Racing at the Sakhir Grand Prix, while Russell is out with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, taking Lewis Hamilton’s seat.
The domino effect of drivers started on Tuesday Morning when it was announced Lewis Hamilton will be sitting out of the Sakhir Grand Prix due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Aitken has been part of Williams since the start of the 2020 season as reserve driver and finally gets his chance to jump into a Formula 1 car and race. Aitken is currently in the FIA Formula 2 Championship but will sit the final weekend out to race for Williams.
Aitken said “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.”
Acting Team Principal Simon Roberts is looking forward to seeing what Aitken can do over the weekend. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team hasn’t been able to bond with Aitken as much as they would have liked to but knows he’s a well liked member for the team and deserves this opportunity.
Roberts added: “Our long-term partnership and George’s affiliation with Mercedes is no secret, and so I’m delighted George has this unique opportunity to join Mercedes, the current Constructors’ Champions. We have been working hard to ensure that an agreement could be made with Mercedes to allow him this fantastic opportunity. George very much remains a Williams driver and we look forward to him returning to us fresh from this experience and wish him a successful race this weekend.
“We are also thrilled this means we are able to give another British talent in Jack Aitken the opportunity to make his Formula One race debut. Jack joined Williams at the start of this season, and despite COVID-19 restrictions meaning we haven’t been able to interact with him as much as we would like, he has quickly become a much-liked member of the team. We look forward to seeing him build on his previous experience driving the car in practice, to see what he can do in a qualifying and race situation.”