British-Korean racer Jack Aitken has announced his departure from Renault F1 Team ahead of the 2020 season.
Aitken has ended his long-standing relationship with Renault after joining its academy in 2016 and stepping up to be the F1 team’s test driver in 2019. His first year as the academy driver co-incided with his graduation to GP3 Series with Arden International.
He finished fifth as he stayed for another in 2017, switching to ART Grand Prix. He finished second to Williams F1 driver George Russell. Aitken moved to F2 in 2018 with ART but only managed to be 11th and switched to Campos Racing in 2019 then.
He led the team well to be fifth. The team is yet to confirm its 2020 driver line-up, where Aitken is said to be in a prime position but when Renault announced its academy driver line-up for 2020, there was no mention of the British-Korean racer.
Considering the status of Aitken as a test driver, it seemed that the announcement would come later but instead, the driver has confirmed his departure from the French outfit. In the role, he had driven the F1 car multiple times, which included the latest machine.
“Today, I announce my departure from Renault F1 Team,” wrote Aitken, on his social channel. “I can only say how much I’ll miss every single one of you guys, and moments at Enstone will forever by highlights of my life.
“Thank you for all you’ve done for me, and wish you the best. Onto a new chapter, and a fresh start.” It remains to be seen where Aitken lands up next, if he stays in F2, or takes up a different route, even though, the ultimate aim is to be in F1.
Aitken joins the likes of Victor Martins, Leonardo Lorandi and Ye Yifei, to have been left off by Renault alongside Nico Hulkenberg. It remains to be seen if SMP Racing protege Sergey Sirotkin keeps his reserve status with the F1 outfit or not.
Meanwhile, Renault stated: “Wishing you the absolute best Jack. It’s been a pleasure working with you and seeing you go from strength to strength over the years. On track of course, and as a meme machine.”
Here’s the junior line-up of Renault for 2020