Jack Aitken has been handed the keys to George Russell’s Williams FW43 for the Sakhir Grand Prix this Sunday as dreams continue to come true in the F1 paddock in Bahrain this week.
It has been a roller coaster 24 hours since the news was announced that Lewis Hamilton had tested positive for Covid-19 and would not be participating in the Sakhir Grand Prix. The tussle for the chance to drive the Mercedes W11 was fierce but Mercedes announced this morning that they had negotiated with Williams for Russell to get the job.
And now it is Williams Academy Driver Aitken who will be stepping up from F2 to race for Williams this weekend. It’s unclear what agreements Mercedes and Williams put in place to allow Russell to move up to the champions this weekend, but that won’t be important for Aitken.
With Roy Nissany most recently testing the FW43 just last week, Williams choosing Aitken over the Israeli will be encouraging for Aitken.
Aitken tweeted this morning to thank his Campos Racing team for releasing him for the weekend. The tweet also appeared to indicate that he will not be with Campos for the 2021 season confirming that Ralph Boschung will be replacing him.
Aitken’s possible only F1 chance
I made the prediction in my Academy piece on Aitken that he would be destined for WEC or Indycar in future so I am delighted for him that he will have the chance to show what he can do in an F1 Grand Prix at least once before that becomes a reality.
Aitken will only really be measured against Nicholas Latifi in the sister car. Jack finished only 10 points and 3 positions behind Latifi in the 2019 F2 championship so the pair should be relatively similar in pace. Barring the obvious proviso that it will be Aitken’s first time in the car.