Sirotkin joins McLaren as reserve driver

McLaren have announced that Sergey Sirotkin will join the team as a reserve driver for the rest of the 2019 season.

Earlier in the year Renault announced that Sirotkin had joined their team as a reserve driver and they have now given McLaren “access” to him as well.

McLaren have not had a reserve driver since the start of the year. Their junior driver, Sergio Sette Camara has not amassed enough points to hold a superlicence.

“This is an expedient solution for McLaren in 2019,” commented McLaren Team Principal, Andreas Seidl.

“Sergey is a known quantity, has the necessary superlicence points and is formally aligned to our engine provider, Renault, so he is the obvious candidate.”

Sirotkin will attend every Grand Prix for the remainder of the season and it means he can be called upon to deputise for Carlos Sainz Jr or Lando Norris if required.

Speaking of the announcement, Sirotkin said: “McLaren is a legendary team and I’m happy to have this opportunity to work with them,”.

“I also thank SMP Racing and Renault for their support.”

Sirotkin will remain part of SMP Racing’s World Endurance Championship team for the remainder of the year and his Formula 1 commitments will not have an impact.

The Russian last raced in Formula 1 in 2018, driving for Williams, but endured a tough season that kept him towards the rear of the field for most of the year.

He had been targeting a race seat with the team for 2019 but Williams eventually made the decision to pick Robert Kubica instead, confining Sirotkin to the sidelines this year.