French Grand Prix – In an unusual sharing deal, Sergey Sirotkin will serve as both McLaren’s and Renault’s reserve driver for the rest of 2019.
The former Williams driver is currently officially a Renault reserve driver, on call to stand in for Daniel Ricciardo or Nico Hulkenberg when required.
However, he has now also been signed to perform the same duties at McLaren, on standby to replace Carlos Sainz or Lando Norris should either of them fall ill or need to miss a race. This deal has been reached as a result of McLaren being an engine customer of Renault.
Sergey, as a reserve driver of McLaren and Renault, will be present at every race for the remainder of this season.
McLaren’s Andreas Seidl said the signing made sense, as he has relevant recent knowledge and experience, as well as the necessary licence: “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.”
The SMP Racing backed Russian driver, who is trying to find a way back into Formula 1 after losing his Williams seat at the end of 2018, says he’s thrilled to add another opportunity: “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. I also thank SMP Racing and Renault for their support.”
Boris Rotenberg from SMP said: “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.”