LONDON (Reuters) – Renault appointed former Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin as their Formula One reserve on Wednesday, with the Russian also scheduled to compete in the World Endurance Championship with SMP Racing.
The 23-year-old lost his seat at struggling Williams at the end of last season after a difficult rookie campaign in which he scored just one point from 21 races.
British-Korean driver Jack Aitken, who was reserve last year and races in Formula Two, will continue in the role of official test driver with 19-year-old Chinese Zhou Guanyu already recruited as development driver.
Sirotkin was Renault test driver in 2016 and reserve in 2017.
“It will be interesting to learn how far Renault has advanced in the development of the car over the past year; last season we were rivals and I could not see the work from the inside,” said the Russian in a statement.
Renault’s race lineup is Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg. The Formula One season starts in Melbourne on March 17.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Amlan CHakraborty)