Aitken ‘massively gutted’ to miss title
THE 2017 GP3 SEASON got off to a perfect start for Jack Aitken when he took pole at the Barcelona opener. But a sensor problem effectively shutting down his engine as he fought Nirei Fukuzumi for the win put him out of race one.
That retirement, plus a slightly disappointing run of results in Austria and Britain – just when George Russell was hitting a purple patch – left him adrift in the standings.
Aitken rallied with a blistering pole and race-one win in Hungary, and scored battling podiums at Spa and Monza, but paid heavily for a mistake passing Dorian Boccolacci in the second Belgian race, ending up 18th.
“[I’m] massively gutted,” Aitken reflected after the title was ultimately lost at Jerez. “I thought at the least we’d take it to Abu Dhabi. The year has been a bit up and down – a couple of mistakes on my side and mechanical issues and a bit of bad luck in other races. It’s not the season I wanted, but I learned lots and I’m going to come back a stronger driver next year.”
A standout moment of Aitken’s 2017 season was his first time driving an F1 car at Jerez in September, an opportunity that came about after he impressed his Renault Sport Academy bosses with his
“I was quite pleased because I managed to get up to speed really quickly – even quicker than I expected myself,” he says. “On the day [Renault] seemed happy.”
“It’s not the season I wanted, but I’ll come back stronger”
Aitken took pole in season opener, and was fighting for win when engine expired