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Aitken becomes Renault Sport F1 reserve as Markelov signs as development driver

F2 racers earn Formula 1 roles with French manufacturer – Fans of the Renault Sport Formula One Team were able to get a close-up look of the 2018 season challenger today as the Renault R.S.18 was unveiled. Using specially-created tools, fans could see a stunning hologram projection of the car and spin it through 360 degrees to see its brand-new lines and new black and yellow livery.

The Renault R.S.18 will be delivered to drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz, and both are keen to get to grips with the car at the first test in Barcelona, from 26 February to 1 March.

Nico and Carlos will be joined this year by Jack Aitken, who steps up to become Third and Reserve Driver. Twenty-two-year-old Jack, who is British-Korean, was one of the founding members of the Renault Sport Academy and will combine his F1 role with competition in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. “It feels amazing to take up the role as Third and Reserve Driver,” says Jack. “It hasn’t quite processed yet, but I’m going to step up my involvement with the team quite a lot. Over the first Barcelona test, it will start to feel real and sink in a little bit more. The role gives me an opportunity to be closer to Nico and Carlos and learn from them, as well as observing the race team, the engineers and how everything operates. Of course, if I’m required, I’d be happy to jump in the car, but I hope it’s all fine with Nico and Carlos! At the moment, it will be about continuing my development.”

Artem Markelov will support the team in his new role as Test and Development Driver. The Russian will combine an F2 campaign with development duties in the team’s driver-in-the-loop simulator at Enstone. Artem commented: “I’m really happy to join Renault Sport Formula One Team as Test and Development Driver. Renault is a standout name in Formula 1 so to sign for them is a really significant step in my career. This year will consist of a lot of listening and learning and taking the opportunity when it comes. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I’ve had a busy winter of preparing for what will be a demanding season of test driving and racing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Russian Time. I’m very much looking forward to the start of the season and getting to work.” (

Renault Sport Formula One Team Press Release

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