Who is Jack Aitken – the Williams F1 Junior Stepping in for George Russell?

Published 12/02/2020, 3:18 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in action during the race Pool via Reuters/Davide Gennari


British driver, Jack Aitken, will make his debut Formula 1 weekend at the Sakhir Grand Prix. It all started with Lewis Hamilton’s positive COVID-19 test. Eventually, Mercedes chose to hand the precious seat to George Russell, leaving a vacant spot in the Williams.

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Hence, the Dorilton Capital-owned team have given Russell’s seat to Aitken. However, one might wonder, who is this Jack Aitken?

Well, Aitken is a 25-year-old London-born racing driver currently taking part in Formula 2. Apart from F2, he is also Williams F1’s reserve driver.

Aitken’s impressive Formula 2 outing

Aitken is the runner-up of the 2017 GP3 series. Following his successful outing with ART Grand Prix in GP3, the team decided to promote the young Briton to Formula 2. He was lined up alongside his compatriot and current Williams driver, Russell.

Aitken had a decent debut season in F2 and finished the year in P11, scoring 63 points with a podium and a race win. Considering an impressive rookie season, Campos Racing offered Aitken a drive for the following season.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason

Aitken showcased his true talent that season, as F2 witnessed the young Briton carry his team single-handedly and managed to see the season out in P5 in the constructors’ standings. Out of the 189 points Campos Racing scored, Aitken’s share was a mammoth 159 points.

After a dominant 2019 season, Aitken decided to stay with Campos Racing for the 2020 season. He had an incredible outing at the British Grand Prix this season, where he went on to score podiums in both the Feature race and the Sprint race.

How did Jack Aitken get into Formula 1?

Aitken made his way into F1 in 2016 and was part of Renault’s young driver program until 2018. Renault eventually promoted him as their reserve driver for the 2018 Formula 1 season.

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Then, for the 2019 season, Renault retained the Briton as their test driver but never managed to provide him with an opportunity.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Williams’ George Russell during practice Jorge Guerrero/Pool via REUTERS

Hence, Aitken, along with his F2 colleagues,  Roy Nissany and Dan Ticktum, made a leap into the Williams driver’s program. Williams went on to hand over their reserve driver’s position to Aitken.

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Now, his dream of racing in Formula 1 is just days away. It is highly unlikely that Aitken will start his F1 debut on a strong note, considering Williams’s struggles. But can Aitken manage to give his teammate Nicholas Latifi a hard time in Bahrain?

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Rohit Kumar

735 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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