Formula 1
Formula 1
26 Sep
-
29 Sep
Event finished
10 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
24 Oct
-
27 Oct
Event finished
01 Nov
-
03 Nov
Event finished
14 Nov
-
17 Nov
Event finished

Sirotkin deserves F1 drive, says Renault's Permane

shares
comments
Sirotkin deserves F1 drive, says Renault's Permane
By:
Co-author: Oleg Karpov
Nov 28, 2017, 4:36 PM

Renault trackside operations director Alan Permane has backed Sergey Sirotkin's credentials for a Formula 1 drive ahead of the Russian's test with Williams.

Sergey Sirotkin, Renault Sport F1 Team Test Driver
Sergey Sirotkin, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 Test Driver and Alan Permane, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 Race Engineer
Sergey Sirotkin, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 Test Driver
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team, Sergey Sirotkin, test and development driver, Renault Sport F1 Team
Sergey Sirotkin, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Sergey Sirotkin, Renault Sport F1 Team Test Driver
Sergey Sirotkin, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Sergey Sirotkin, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 Test Driver
Sergey Sirotkin, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17

Sirotkin, a race winner in GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5, has had a number of test and practice outings with the Renault F1 team over the past two years – but was overlooked for a 2018 race drive as the French marque signed Carlos Sainz alongside Nico Hulkenberg.

The Russian currently remains under contract with Renault, but has been permitted to test with Williams in the post-Abu Dhabi GP test and will drive the FW40 on Wednesday.

While Robert Kubica is favourite for the Williams drive, the Grove-based team's chief technical officer Paddy Lowe confirmed Sirotkin was “on the shortlist”.

Asked whether he felt Sirotkin deserved an F1 drive, Permane told Motorsport.com: “I think so. Honestly, genuinely.

“I know I’m always likely to say that, because he is working with us, but I think he’s got the pace. I really do. And certainly he’s got, let's say, the work ethic.”

Permane felt Sirotkin had been unlucky in terms of race weekend mileage in 2017, as his Renault car had suffered early failures in Sochi and Barcelona FP1 sessions.

“This year he’s had some really bad luck with us. We haven’t done a good enough job for him, honestly, on Fridays. He’s driven the car four times and I think twice it completely failed on him,” Permane said.

“But in that time, if you look at his laptime, certainly compared to [Jolyon] Palmer in Malaysia in the wet and compared our immediate competitors, he does a good job for someone who doesn’t drive the car very much, he was very quick.

“On the other side of things out of the car, I can’t fault him at all. The effort he puts in, the feedback he gives in the office, what he is happy to do work-wise with the engineers, there are absolutely no problems at all.”

Renault's regular driver Hulkenberg backed up Permane's assessment of Sirotkin, saying: “He is a very humble guy. He is very down-to-earth. I think he is a very hard-working guy, too.

“Unfortunately he’s had quite a bit of bad luck. Whenever he had a chance to run in P1 a few times there were technical issues or the weather was bad, there was always something.

“I feel a little bit for him, that he never got to show what he can do, because I think he is quite a skilled driver.”

He added that Sirotkin “definitely deserves a chance” and said he would “for sure” consider the Russian for the Williams seat.

When Renault was still evaluating Kubica, it fielded him and Sirotkin in a 2012-spec car in Valencia on different days, and it was widely reported that Kubica had set the quicker laptime.

Sirotkin said at the time that “what was written was partially true”, but Permane felt Sirotkin had been done a disservice.

Asked about the reports, he said: “I don’t think they were fair at all. I don’t think the press got correct information or anything.

“And honestly, to compare across two days, it doesn’t mean so much. Especially when you go to a circuit like Valencia or Paul Ricard, where they are not used very much, the track is changing rapidly.”

Next article
Hypersoft "the best tyre" since Pirelli's F1 return - Hamilton

Previous article

Hypersoft "the best tyre" since Pirelli's F1 return - Hamilton

Next article

Webber joins Australian Grand Prix board

Webber joins Australian Grand Prix board
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sergey Sirotkin
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy