Williams Martini Racing are expecting Sergey Sirotkin to be a part of the team for a number of years, after the Russian gave them a flawless performance during his post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the team.
Sirotkin was confirmed to join Lance Stroll in the Williams set-up for the 2018 season last month, with the Russian getting the nod ahead of a number of other more-experienced racers, including Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta, Daniil Kvyat and Pascal Wehrlein.
Williams CEO Mike O’Driscoll has revealed Sirotkin’s backers at SMP Racing requested a multiple year deal to be offered, but that kind of request is common when determining contracts.
“What we have with Sergey is a multi-year contract,” said O’Driscoll at a Williams-SMP Racing event in Moscow. “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.”
O’Driscoll said Sirotkin’s mistake-free performance during the test at the Yas Marina Circuit just after the conclusion of the 2017 Formula 1 season showed just how good a driver the twenty-two-year-old is, and ultimately, it was enough for him to be confirmed as Felipe Massa’s replacement.
“What was obvious was how calm Sergey was in this moment, when he realised he needed to perform,” said O’Driscoll. “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.”