Sirotkin Dismisses ‘Pay Driver’ Tag Jibes ahead of Debut Campaign


Sergey Sirotkin is unhappy with being called a 'pay driver' ahead of his F1 debut
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The newest driver on the Formula 1 grid, Sergey Sirotkin, says he does not pay attention to those who call him a ‘pay driver’, and he would like to know where those people get their so-called information.

The Russian was confirmed to race alongside Lance Stroll at Williams Martini Racing for the 2018 Formula 1 season, beating the likes of Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta, Daniil Kvyat and Pascal Wehrlein to the seat, but comes to the team with the support of SMP Bank, which comes through their SMP Racing outlet.

Sirotkin has been less than impressed with what has been said of him in regards to being a pay driver, particularly as his résumé has race wins in the Auto GP World Series, Formula Renault 3.5 Series and most recently the GP2 Series.

“I do not pay attention to names like ‘pay driver’,” said Sirotkin to Russian broadcaster Sport FM. “People write things but where do they get the information from?  If you know something and can confirm it with facts, then please do.”

Sirotkin has also weighed in on the grid girls debate and admits that had nothing been announced, he would not have noticed that they were not on the grid.

“When you sit on the grid, you’re not thinking about the girls,” said Sirotkin. “If I had not been told about this news then I would not have even noticed.

“I can understand the position of both the opponents and the supporters of this decision. But I look at it from the professional point of view that it does not affect the drivers in any way.”