Sergey Sirotkin on Wednesday admitted he is targeting a full race seat at Renault for 2017.
24 hours ago, the French works team announced that the 20-year-old Russian, backed by the Vladimir Putin-supported SMP Racing, will drive in Kevin Magnussen’s place at Sochi on Friday morning.
“In fact, the programme is quite extensive,” Sirotkin, who had his seat fitted in Magnussen’s car in the Renault team garage on Wednesday, told Russia’s Championat.
“In the press release it was stated only that I will drive in Sochi, but I will be the full test driver,” he explained.
“So this will be simulator, private and official tests and so on. And there could be more free practices — it is not restricted to Sochi,” said Sirotkin.
He insisted, however, that his real focus in 2016 will be on GP2.
Asked if the goal is therefore a race debut with Renault next season, he admitted: “Yes, 100 per cent.
“All of the main contenders for the title in GP2 now have similar conditions: (Pierre) Gasly with Red Bull, (Alex) Lynn with Williams. So the cooperation with Renault can help me,” said Sirotkin.
“In addition, it is the factory team,” he added. “At the moment they might not have the strongest performance, but we know the reasons for this, and I am sure that in the near future the situation will change.
“So it would be very good if I was to make my debut in formula one next year with Renault,” said Sirotkin.