Aitken waiting for Abu Dhabi confirmation 'either way'

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Williams reserve Jack Aitken is patiently waiting to know whether he will be racing this weekend with the Grove-based outfit in Abu Dhabi.

Aitken filled in for George Russell last weekend in the Sakhir GP following the latter's move to Mercedes to stand in for a COVID-infected Lewis Hamilton.

The seven-time world champion's situation remains fluid, but it's uncertain when Mercedes will make the final call on who will race alongside Valtteri Bottas at Yas Marina.

As a consequence, Aitken is also in waiting mode.

"We don't know yet," he said. "I think it's up to Mercedes and obviously Lewis' recovery. I'm just waiting for confirmation either way.

"Obviously I would love to be back in the car because I think I've made some big steps and this weekend would be even stronger. But really I just have to wait and listen to see what the confirmation will be."

Aitken drove a steady race at Sakhir on his F1 debut despite a late spin that brought out the safety car and set in motion a series of events that likely deprived his friend Russell of a sensational maiden win in F1.

But Aitken said the race mileage last weekend enhanced a knowledge he hopes to capitalize on in Abu Dhabi.

"I think now that I'm a bit more up to speed with the car, and having gone through everything once, it's a little bit easier to focus on extracting that little bit of extra performance from myself and the car," said the Williams rookie.

"I think it is still going to be about building up a bit of experience and confidence as we go. But we're in a much better position than we were a week ago. So, if I am in the car, I'm pretty confident we can do a good job and I think we're still pushing as a team for a points finish.

"It's not the strongest circuit for us in the whole year but that doesn't mean that we can't have a bit of luck on our side."

Aitken admitted that he would be disappointed if circumstances prevent him from starting his second race with Williams.

"I'll be a bit disappointed if I don't get to drive after getting all hyped up and prepped for it, but equally there's no reason for me not to prepare," he said. "And in fact I should be as prepared as I possibly can be.

"I'm using today and yesterday, and all the time I have, to make sure I'm ready. So if I get the nod, we'll be in a good position."

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