Sirotkin named as Renault reserve driver for 2020 season

Former Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin has been confirmed as Renault's reserve driver for the 2020 season.

Sirotkin was Renault's reserve driver in 2017 and 2019, but the role has greater significance this year with the potential for drivers sitting out of sessions because of positive coronavirus tests. The new F1 season is due to get underway this weekend in Austria after a four-month hiatus, and strict measures are in place to ensure any outbreak is contained within a team.

In the event that either Daniel Ricciardo or Esteban Ocon test positive -- or even if they have been in close contact with other team members who test positive and are awaiting test results -- Sirotkin will be in place to step in.

"We're pleased to welcome Sergey back to the team for this year," team principal Cyril Abiteboul said. "Given the current circumstances we find ourselves in, we must have plans in place for any situation which might occur.

"We know Sergey very well and he, likewise, knows the team. We're looking forward to welcoming Sergey this weekend in Austria."

Sirotkin added: "It's great to be back with Renault DP World F1 Team as reserve driver. I know the team very well having been with them throughout the 2019 season. I understand the importance for a team to have a driver ready to fill in quickly should the opportunity arise, especially given the current situation the world is in.

"I've been keeping sharp and focused and I would be well prepared to race a Formula One car again. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends at Renault soon."