F1's Legends of Tomorrow: Part 3 - Jack Aitken
The Williams reserve driver deserves a shot in F1 right?
If you missed last week's second part, find it here:
The 24 year old British driver that is Jack Aitken is currently in his third season of Formula 2 where he drives for Campos Racing. With all that F2 experience under his belt, is it now crunch time for the Brit to make it into Formula 1 before it's too late?
Jack started karting way back in 2002 and did it for a nice round decade before moving on to pastures new. From 2013 to 2015, he competed in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps. In 2015, he became champion in both the Eurocup and Alps Championships. He became a Renault Academy driver in 2016 and tested for the Renault team in 2017 on several occasions. At the same time, he finished third in the GP3 Series - the precursor to what Formula 3 is known as these days. Then in 2018, he entered Formula 2, coming eleventh at the end of his first season. A year later, he finished fifth in the standings. Jack then made the switch from Renault to Williams and became their reserve driver for the 2020 F1 season.
With three seasons soon under his belt, Aitken will be looking now more than ever to make his way into Formula 1. Being with Williams certainly gives him opportunities but not in the driver's seat for 2021. Russell and Latifi are both contracted to race that season but one or both of them could end up leaving ahead of the 2022 season, giving Aitken the chance he needs. There's no doubt that he's a good driver, he has four wins to his name in Formula 2 so far and he achieved back to back podium finishes at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix a few weeks ago.
The Williams reserve driver got to participate in a practise session with Williams back in Styria which at the very least shows that they are committed to giving their reserve drivers a chance in their F1 cars. Roy Nissany also had the same opportunity back in Barcelona. With 62 races behind him in Formula 2 at the time of writing, Aitken is experienced enough to move on. Moreover, with each passing year that he spends in Formula 2, the trickier it will get to move up into Formula 1 and younger, fresher talent makes its way up through Formula 3 and into Formula 2.
If he can get one or two wins to his name this season (and especially next if he continues for a fourth season in Formula 2) then there may still be hope for Aitken. I hope there is as even if he doesn't become an F1 superstar, he at least deserves the chance to show the F1 paddock what he's got. Plus, as a British-Korean driver, he's bound to accumulate even more fans from around the world and who knows, maybe his presence in F1 could lead to a resurrection of the Korean Grand Prix.
What do you think? Will the F2 veteran become a star of F1 in the near future or not? Let me know in the comments below.