Formula One team, Williams, have announced that the signing of Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin is a “long-term” deal.
The signing came as quite the shock for F1 fans all over the world as the focus was well and truly on Robert Kubica, the Polish driver who was expected to make his return to the sport with Williams, only be turned down in favour of the Russian.
Sirotkin, who had his position confirmed a week ago, drove the 2017 car in the last of the test days in Abu Dhabi last year. It was then that he impressed the team with the calmest approach of all the drivers that day.
Speaking at a Williams organised event in Moscow CEO Mike O’Driscroll 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.”
Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe also 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.”
As for Robert Kubica, someone that has received maximum support from the F1 paddock after battling to get back into a racing car following his horrific rallying injury, has been selected as the teams reserve driver and will be ready to step in for either Stroll or Sirotkin if required.
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— James Eagles (@therealjeagles) January 22, 2018