Formula One

Williams Finalizes Driver Line-Up

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There doesn’t have to be any wonder anymore about who will be at Williams alongside Lance Stroll as the team confirmed their driver line-up.

The team has signed Sergey Sirotkin to drive their second entry full-time for the 2018 Formula 1 campaign.

“To say I’m happy and proud to join such a famous team like Williams is an understatement,” said Sirotkin. “It took a huge amount of work to get where I am, and I’m really happy and thankful to everyone involved. 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.”

The Russian is not a new name to F1 fans, having spent time as a test driver for Renault. The 22-year-old competed in GP2 in 2015, placing third in the year-end standings. He joined Renault Sport F1 in 2016, where he has spent the past two years.

“After an extensive driver evaluation process, I am thrilled to have our 2018 line-up finalised, and I’m excited to see what next season brings,” said Claire Williams, deputy Team Principal. “We have taken our time to evaluate all the available options, and I’m confident Lance and Sergey can deliver the best results for the team. The Williams philosophy has always been to promote and develop young talent and Sergey fits right into that ethos.”

Commenting on Sirotkin’s appointment, Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer, said, “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.”

Robert Kubica was considered for the seat, but was instead signed as the team’s official reserve and development driver for 2018.

“I’m extremely happy to be joining the Williams team,” said Kubica. “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.”

Kubica has lots of experience under his belt, having made 76 previous series starts and won the Canadian Grand Prix in 2008. His career was put on hold following a rallying crash in 2011.

Of Kubica’s appointment, deputy team principal Claire Williams stated, “All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what Robert has achieved, and it is a great credit to his strength of character and commitment to return to Formula 1. We are excited to be continuing our relationship with Robert and look forward to working with him this coming season.”

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer, added, “First and foremost, we’d like to congratulate Robert on what he has achieved so far. To overcome his injuries, return to fitness, and drive a Formula 1 car again is a remarkable achievement, and one that few considered possible. We anticipate Robert will make a strong technical contribution to the team, using his wealth of experience in track testing, simulator work, and support to the race drivers and engineers at every race. He is a driver I have admired for many years and I am personally very happy to be working with him towards our 2018 championship.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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