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Featured Sirotkin Secures Williams Drive, Kubica Signed up as Reserve

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Williams Mercedes Sirotkin Signs.jpg
    Williams Martini Racing have confirmed Sergey Sirotkin as second driver for 2018, with Robert Kubica securing the role of development and reserve for the new season.

    Disappointing fans throughout the world, Williams Martini Racing have today confirmed young Russian prospect Sergey Sirotkin will partner Lance Stroll in the 2018 Formula One season, beating Polish fan favourite Robert Kubica for the most coveted drive remaining in Grand Prix racing.

    Since Felipe Massa announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of 2017 it was thought highly likely that the retiring Robert Kubica would be a practical shoe in for the Grove based team, however following what was a solid testing performance in Abu Dhabi, former Renault reserve Sirotkin began to move up in the estimations of the former World Champions, eventually doing enough to secure his Formula One debut for the team at just 22 years of age.

    Despite the reported £15,000,000 financial package that comes with the driver, Williams maintain that the decision to sign Sirotkin over Kubica was based purely on performance alone, something stated by Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe at the announcement of the decision earlier today:

    "We have conducted a rigorous and exhaustive driver evaluation process. Ultimately, Sergey impressed the team with his driving pace and talent, technical feedback and work ethic, both at the factory and trackside in Abu Dhabi. I’m delighted he will be joining the team to partner Lance next season. Lance will be going into his second season with us, after notable achievements in his rookie year. We have an exciting line-up for 2018 which we believe will help us to maximise the potential of the FW41.
    With the signing of Sirotkin alongside teenager Lance Stroll for 2018, Williams will be fielding one of the least experienced driving parings in the history of the team, something the British outfit have looked to address by securing 32-year-old former Grand Prix winner Kubica in the role of development and reserve driver. Kubica, looking to return to Grand Prix racing for the first time since his massive rally accident back in 2010, is thought likely to enjoy plenty of seat time in the year ahead as he looks to continue to prove his fitness for a return to full time competition.

    The Polish former BMW Sauber and Renault driver will take part in several pre and mid season test sessions, as well as being confirmed to drive in a number of Free Practice sessions during the year ahead.

    Despite the disappointment of missing out on a full time return for 2018, Kubica remains upbeat that he is still in with a shout of a return to Formula One race driver duties in the future:

    “I’m extremely happy to be joining the Williams team as its official Reserve and Development Driver this season. I feel in the best physical shape that I have ever been, but it has taken a lot of work to get to where I am now, so I’d like to thank Williams for the opportunities they have given me so far, and for putting their faith in me with this appointment.

    I have enjoyed being back in the Formula One paddock over these past few months, and I now look forward to working with the Williams technical team, both at the factory and at the track, to really help push forward the development of the FW41 and to make a real difference to their 2018 campaign.

    Having driven both the FW36 and the FW40, I’m looking forward to seeing how the FW41 measures up on track and working with the team to ensure we can maximise the performance of the car. My ultimate goal remains to race again in Formula One and this is another important step in that direction: I cannot wait to get started.”

    Pre season testing begins February 26th at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

    If you like your motorsport fast and open wheeled, check out the Formula One sub forum and get yourself in on the discussion today!

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    Have Williams made the right decision picking Sirotkin in place of Kubica this season? Can the Pole return to race duties in future? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  2. Stnry

    Stnry
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    Sign sirotkin over kubica-> yes, right choice.
    Keep stroll over singning kubica -> nah
     
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  3. ATSSHD

    ATSSHD

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    "Keep stroll over singning kubica -> nah"
    They need that money so badly..

    Kvyat instead of Sirotkin would have been better to be honest.
     
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  4. billymitchell

    billymitchell

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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Wolf_XII

    Wolf_XII
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    Kubica as Reserve for Sirotkin? Are they bonkers?

    A proven driver with GP wins to his name is reserve for some unproven driver who is there because he has the money?
    As if ayone would believe their claim that it's on performance grounds when he comes with that huge wad of cash.........

    And yeah on performance grounds Sirotkin is supposed to be better than Kubica?

    All right then, I'll believe that when I see it!

    So Williams, you and Sirotkin have a lot to prove next season!

    And I agree Kvyat over Sirotkin, at least that one has proven that he has some skill.

    If anyone wants to buy their way into racing, GT3 and LMP2 could use some team owners!
     
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  6. Stnry

    Stnry
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    Thats Kind of sad if you think of what williams once has been...
     
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  7. TimeOut73

    TimeOut73

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    Looks like they drank too much Martini...
     
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  8. xmlinc

    xmlinc

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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  9. snyperal

    snyperal
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    I'd like to see Robert get a grand prix or two in this season.
     
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  10. Constantin Grimminger

    Constantin Grimminger

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    Knew everyone wanted to see Kubica back in the cockpit - and even here people pick all the wrong arguments to justify why Kubica should be there instead of Sirotkin.

    So let's make this clear:
    Sirotkin brings in more money.
    Sirotkin is not in danger of injuring himself even more just due to the sheer g-forces
    Sirotkin has proven himself enough in GP2
    Sirotkin was faster in the F1 post-season test.

    Why would you even pick Kubica with these facts in mind? Would you do that, as an employer?
     
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  11. aka2k

    aka2k

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    :sleep:
     
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  12. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    Lowe is full of sh't. Its well known that Russian backed drivers are usually heavily financially backed, which, with Williams in particular, is an easy decision then. Not even a Hamilton offering his services for free would change that.
     
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  13. F1Aussie

    F1Aussie

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    Pretty uninspiring lineup. Can't see them getting many points this year, I hope the pay driver bucks makes up for that!
     
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  14. Andrew Scott

    Andrew Scott
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    Williams, Williams, Williams hope you can except mid pack or worse results in 2018, must be hard to fall so far and not bounce, enjoy Sirotkins money cause I doubt you'll be enjoying any podiums.

    It's a shame the pinnacle of motorsport is so money orientated today, can't wait for 2021 when it all changes and the focus is back to driver talents rather than how big your wallet is, might be worth watching again.
     
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  15. RufGTI

    RufGTI

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    Jacques Villeneuve's Twitter page is going to be more exciting than the whole 2018 F1 season.
     
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  16. Constantin Grimminger

    Constantin Grimminger

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    How could Sirotkin prove any of his F1 skills if he hasn't had any F1 cockpit before?
     
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  17. ME9Swe

    ME9Swe
    I know, he thinks he's quick, but he's not Premium

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    What are we doing here, finding race seats or ping pong?
     
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  18. wombat999

    wombat999
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    All about money, 'talent' is incidental.
    Sauber and Haas will likely be ahead of the team that once was 'Williams'.
    Muppets!
    :giggle:
     
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  19. capndorkus00

    capndorkus00

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    Its the "worst case" win-win situation for Williams to be honest. They did not really attempt to recruit any other potentials other than a very small number of candidates that don't really make it as the perfect candidate.

    As much as I would want to see Kubica back as the main driver but he was clearly outshone during the testing phases last year by Sirotkin. Reminded me of Schumacher and his return to F1, a 7-time WDC, only to have been whipped by Rosberg. Experience and reputation can factor in but if he can be proven to be outmatched, then he's outmatched.

    I'll agree that this line up is pretty uninspiring but kinda interested to see how a Stroll v. Sirotkin would look like.
     
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  20. Wedge

    Wedge

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    Willems
    wat R u doin
    STAHP
     
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