Williams Martini Racing has finally announced that Sergey Sirotkin will partner Lance Stroll in 2018, with the Russian becoming the third from his homeland ever to race in Formula 1.
The former GP2 Series race winner has been a test driver for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team for the past two seasons and has participated in free practice sessions with the French outfit and with the Sauber F1 Team in the past, but now follows in the footsteps of compatriots Vitaly Petrov and Daniil Kvyat in finding a race seat in the premiere single seater championship.
Sirotkin had been one of a number of drivers to be linked with the seat vacated by the retiring Felipe Massa, including Robert Kubica, Pascal Wehrlein, Paul di Resta and Kvyat, and the twenty-two-year-old is delighted to get his break in Formula 1 in 2018.
“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.”
Team-mate Stroll, who stays on at Williams for a second season after stepping into Formula 1 on the back of a championship winning campaign in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2016, is looking forward to forming a close relationship with Sirotkin in 2018.
“First of all I would like to welcome Sergey to Williams and I am looking forward to having him as my team-mate,” said Stroll. “I know Sergey and I am sure we will very quickly form a close working relationship.
“I really enjoyed my rookie season with the team, and there were a number of memorable highlights, on which I’ll look to build on in the coming season. I’m looking forward to Barcelona, and driving the new FW41 for the first time.”