Sergey Sirotkin named Williams F1 driver, Robert Kubica gets reserve role
Russian Sirotkin Sergey pipped comeback man Robert Kubica for the Williams seat for the 2018 Formula 1 season.other sports Updated: Jan 17, 2018 00:02 IST
Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin will race for Williams this season after being chosen ahead of Polish rival Robert Kubica in a multi-year deal.
The Formula One team made the long-awaited announcement with a statement on Tuesday, filling the last remaining vacancy on the starting grid for the season starting in Australia on March 25.
The 22-year-old will partner 19-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll, who made his debut with the former world champions last year.
Sirotkin replaces Brazilian veteran Felipe Massa, who retired at the end of last year.
“It took a huge amount of work to get where I am, and I’m really happy and thankful to everyone involved,” said Sirotkin, who was previously on Renault’s books as a development driver.
“The result of our combined efforts has helped me achieve my dream, and rest assured the team can rely on me to deliver my best.”
Sirotkin has been backed by Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg on his way to the top.
Robert Kubica: "I’m extremely happy to be joining the Williams team as its official Reserve and Development Driver this season… 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." 👏 #F1 pic.twitter.com/TU3hyPoNPu— Formula 1 (@F1) January 16, 2018
Deputy team principal Claire Williams said the team had taken their time to evaluate all options but were confident the new pairing would deliver.
“The Williams philosophy has always been to promote and develop young talent and Sergey fits right into that ethos,” she said.
“Lance has had a record-breaking debut season, and with a year now under his belt, he will be ready to hit the ground running in 2018.”
Kubica, 33, had been hoping to return to a Formula One race seat for the first time since a 2011 rally accident partially severed his right arm.
He and Sirotkin both tested with Williams after last year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Kubica will be the team’s test and development driver.
Poland’s former grand prix winner Robert Kubica will be the reserve and development driver for Williams this season, the Formula One team said on Tuesday.
Russian Sergey Sirotkin was earlier announced as a race driver for the former champions, partnering Canadian Lance Stroll.
Kubica, 33, had been hoping to get the race seat and return to the starting grid for the first time since a 2011 rally accident partially severed his right arm.