Jack Aitken has been back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, specifically the Renault RS19, which was most recently seen in competitive action at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend. Following the race there was an official test on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Circuit de Catalunya, which Jack drove in as part of his role as Test Driver for the Renault F1 Team. Jack completed 75 laps during Wednesday – more than an entire Spanish Grand Prix distance – after taking over from regular race driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Although Jack didn’t complete any flat-out performance laps, he still set the fifth-best time on Wednesday of all the cars in the official test, which equated to the seventh-best time overall of the entire two-day session, involving 20 drivers. Unlike three of the drivers in front of him, he did this without even using the softest – and fastest – available tyre.
Of course, Jack benefitted from his previous experience, as he last tested the current Renault at the in-season test following the Bahrain Grand Prix. Once again, his consistent laps and accurate feedback impressed the Renault F1 Team’s engineers, as they worked through an extensive development programme.
JACK ON HOW THE TEST WENT
“It was really good. We did a solid number of laps and got through everything that we needed to do, so I would say it was definitely mission accomplished! The car showed a good level of performance and we looked at a number of interesting development directions and ideas for the future. We’ve certainly got a few things to think about now, which should hopefully bear some results.”
JACK ON THE RENAULT R.S.19
“It’s honestly an amazing car, and I wish more people could experience what I just did. The feeling is out of this world. I think what people sometimes don’t realise is just how close the fight is with our nearest rivals, so sometimes it’s quite hard for us as a team to stand out. But there’s such strength in depth in the engine and chassis that we’ll definitely get there. Of course we’ve got an amazing driver line-up as well, which it’s a real privilege to be a part of.”
JACK ON SETTING FAST TIMES
“You don’t really think about that much when you’re testing: you’ve got a job to do and you focus on getting it done. We were able to run some very consistent laps and give the engineers a good picture of how the car was working, so I’m much happier about that than I would be about setting quick times. As it happened though, the times weren’t bad, so I’m pretty happy!”
JACK ON HOW TO BECOME A FORMULA 1 DRIVER
“I’m just doing my best and proving my utmost commitment to the team. I’m aware that I’ve got a very responsible role with the Renault F1 Team and what happens in future depends on the job that I do, so obviously I want to do it to the best of my abilities. Keep focussed on your goal, and there’s no reason why you won’t achieve it, if you have the talent.”
JACK ON THE ‘GLAMOROUS’ LIFESTYLE OF A RACING DRIVER
“I visited my Formula 2 team before the race and drove up with them from Valencia to Barcelona, spending many hours on a Spanish motorway. After the test, I spent the night in a hotel in the airport and then got up at the crack of dawn to catch a 6.30am flight. You definitely don’t do this job for the glamour: you do it because you love it!”