Sergey Sirotkin, who will replace Felipe Massa alongside Lance Stroll at Williams Martini Racing this year, feels excited and ready for his rookie season, as he helped the team unveil their 2018 car, the FW41, at an event in London on Thursday.
Sirotkin was one of several rumoured options for the seat late last year, along with the likes of Paul di Resta, Robert Kubica, Daniil Kvyat and Pascal Wehrlein, and the Russian had been reserve driver for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team for two years before jumping to the front of the queue thanks to an impressive test in Abu Dhabi with Williams last year.
“I feel really excited ahead of the season,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time at the factory, I’m almost living there at the moment which has been great motivation for me and for all of the people around the factory.”
Over the winter months, he has been acclimatising himself with the team and his engineers and undergoing the standard procedures like seat-fitting and working through different set-ups on the simulator. He has also been training hard in preparation for the physical demands of the upcoming season.
“It’s been a big enjoyment to start working properly with all the mechanics and engineers, and it’s going well,” said Sirotkin, who arrives at the team with the backing of SMP Racing. “I’ve been training hard and I’ve been in the simulator regularly, going through different set-ups with the car, different tracks, seat fittings and also a lot of engineering meetings and factory tours to meet everyone.
“I’ve been having fun with all the guys from different departments. It’s busy times, but I am really enjoying it. I’m getting ready for the season in the best possible way.”