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2017 F1

Renault flags third driver role for Sirotkin

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Renault flags third driver role for Sirotkin

Renault flags third driver role for Sirotkin

Sergey Sirotkin could move up to the position of third driver at Renault next year.

The Russian began 2016 as the French works team’s test driver, but third driver Esteban Ocon has since stepped up to the grid.

Russian GP2 driver Sirotkin drove Renault’s car in Friday practice at Interlagos, and team boss Frederic Vasseur said he was “impressive”.

It is part of a tie-up between Sirotkin, Renault and the Russian programme SMP Racing.

“I would like to continue to develop the cooperation with Sergey,” Vasseur is quoted by Russia’s Sportbox.

“We need to find options to allow him to spend more time in the car,” he added.

“Next season we will have the same test system for young drivers but we need a driver with some experience to help with the car’s development. I think Sergey is a suitable candidate,” he said.

“Next season will be very difficult for the team and we need not only the two main drivers but also a strong third,” added Vasseur.

Vasseur said it is not yet decided if Sirotkin will also stay in GP2 or focus full-time on F1.

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