Williams expects to keep Sirotkin for "many years ahead"

Williams expects Sergey Sirotkin to be with the team for “many years ahead” following the multi-year deal that landed him a race seat for 2018.

Williams expects to keep Sirotkin for "many years ahead"
 Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW40
Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, Williams
 Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW40
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams eats
 Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW40
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW40
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW40
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW40

Sirotkin beat several contenders – including grand prix winner and now-Williams reserve Robert Kubica – to the final vacant seat on the F1 grid alongside Lance Stroll. 

Speaking at a Williams-SMP Racing event in Moscow, key figures from the team and Sirotkin’s Russian backers made clear a long-term deal was in place.

Williams CEO Mike O’Driscoll said: “What we have with Sergey is a multi-year contract. We have a lot of confidence in Sergey.

“We never talk about the specific terms for any driver at any point, and that’s common across many of the Formula 1 teams.

“But we can tell you it’s a multi-year contract, so expect to see Sergey, in the years ahead, wearing the Williams uniform.”

SMP Racing chief executive Dmitry Samorukov said it was important to get a commitment in place for longer than one season. 

“We knew that there was no point in signing a contract just for one year, in terms of Sergey's work with the team and with the car," he said.

“Our programme is designed for more than a year. We have very flexible terms in the deal, but it's definitely 'one-plus'.”

Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe added: “We’re very excited about what Sergey can do this year, and even in the many years ahead.

“Like Mike said, this is a multi-year partnership with Sergey and also with SMP Racing.

“We’re very impressed with what SMP are doing, it shows an example to the rest of the world, a process by which young drivers can be promoted and supported.

“What we really want in motorsport is the very best talent coming to the top, and not the talent that’s driven there by opportunity, good luck, or money.”

Immediate impact in test

O’Driscoll described Sirotkin’s performance in the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test, where Kubica was also in action, as “flawless”, and Lowe said the 22-year-old was more relaxed than his backers were on the day. 

“What was obvious was how calm Sergey was in this moment, when he realised he needed to perform,” he said.

“From the first few laps that he did in the car, you could feel the atmosphere in the garage, with the engineers, how immediately they were impressed with his times, his feedback, with his precision.

“He made no mistakes, so the feeling that he was a great driver was there very early on, and it really was a universal feeling among the engineers that this was the guy we needed in the car.”  

Samorukov said the test was not just a case of Sirotkin turning up at the last minute and putting in a surprise performance.

“We understood that Williams was going to be one of the best options, and we were intentionally targeting, and preparing for, the Abu Dhabi test,” he said.

“It's definitely not just that Sergey showed up, set a good time, they spotted him and now he has the seat. That was more the culmination of the work done up to that point.”

shares
comments
F1 set to introduce minimum driver weight in 2019

Previous article

F1 set to introduce minimum driver weight in 2019

Next article

Opinion: Why F1’s excellence needs to translate to TV

Opinion: Why F1’s excellence needs to translate to TV
Load comments
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021