Sergey Sirotkin has signed with McLaren to be its reserve driver for the remainder of the 2019 F1 season alongside his existing Renault role.
Sirotkin moved to FIA World Endurance Championship with his backers SMP Racing after ending his terms with Williams at the end of the 2018 F1 season. While racing in WEC, he returned to Renault in a reserve capacity for the 2019 F1 season.
Along with that, the Russian has now signed an extended contract with McLaren after a mutual agreement between the Woking-based team and Renault, which will see him become the British team’s reserve driver alongside Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.
In case, Sainz and Norris are unable to race in any of the F1 race weekend, Sirotkin will step up. “McLaren is a legendary team and I’m happy to have this opportunity to work with them, join their history, see from the inside how the team and drivers work,” he said.
“I also thank SMP Racing and Renault for their support.” At the same time, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said: “This is an expedient solution for McLaren in 2019. Sergey is a known quantity, has the necessary superlicence points and is formally aligned to our engine provider, Renault, so he is the obvious candidate.”
SMP Racing founder Boris Rotenberg added: “I’m happy that Sergey is highly rated in Formula 1 and that he was invited to be a reserve driver not only for Renault, but also for McLaren. Together with this role in Formula 1 Sergey will continue driving for SMP Racing in the next season of the FIA WEC in LMP1 category.”
And finally, Renault’s statement read as: “We have reached an agreement for McLaren to have access to our Third & Reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin. Sergey remains our official Reserve, but McLaren can call upon his services this season if needed.”
Unlike previous seasons, majority of the F1 teams did not announce a traditional reserve driver for the 2019 season. McLaren were one of them with Sergio Sette Camara only a development driver and Fernando Alonso being the ambassador.