Jack Aitken says he is only likely to return to Formula 2 next year if he would be in a position to fight for the championship title.

The British-Korean driver endured a tricky third year in F2 with Campos as he finished the season 14th in the standings with 48 points, managing a pair of podium finishes at Silverstone but failing to win for the first time in the series.

Aitken’s campaign was disrupted by a series of unexpected personnel changes on the eve of the season, including the departure of senior engineer Jan Sumann for rivals Hitech.

Aitken dovetailed his 2020 F2 commitments by carrying out a reserve driver role for Williams, resulting in an unexpected F1 debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix when he stood in for team regular George Russell who in turn replaced Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton after the seven-time world champion was ruled out having contracted COVID-19.

Speaking exclusively to Crash.net in Abu Dhabi, Aitken said he is currently considering “a lot of options” for 2021 and hoped to have his plans firmed up by the end of the year.

“We haven’t got anything ready to announce just yet,” Aitken told Crash.net.

“We’re looking at a lot of options and I’ve sort of spent enough time in F2 to learn what I need to learn in that series.

"It is a shame that I couldn’t have capitalised this year a bit more and had a good result but I think my performances have been very good.

"If I was to come back, then I’d only want to do so with a view to winning the championship.

“We’re looking at all the options and hopefully we’ll be sorted in the next month or so.”

Aitken made his practice debut with Williams at the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria before his full grand prix weekend chance came about at the penultimate round of the season, with the 25-year-old finishing his first F1 race in a respectable 16th.

Following his invaluable experience throughout 2020, Aitken hopes to continue in his Williams position once again next year, regardless of whether he races in another series or not.

“I’ve had a great year with Williams and obviously we are having conversations as well,” he said. “But again, not in a position to announce anything just yet.

“I would think that it’s been a really good year, Bahrain was obviously a highlight, but doing my first FP1 with the team as well was something quite special. Overall we’ve had a good year together so I’m thankful for that.”

Having been an original member of Renault’s young driver programme, Aitken left Enstone for Grove at the start of 2020.

It is a decision which he feels has been justified given the French manufacturer has opted to replace Daniel Ricciardo with the returning Fernando Alonso for 2021, shutting the door on any opening for its juniors.

“I felt it was the right time to move on and there were opportunities at Williams that there weren’t at Renault,” Aitken added.

“I think being reserve driver was clearly something I wanted to achieve and to get in the F1 practices as well.

“Williams have shown a lot of faith by putting me in the car and they’ve been nothing but supportive since I got here. It’s been a great experience and I’m just as happy now as I was at the start of year.”

 

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