SMP Racing chief executive Dmitry Samorukov says the amount of investment the SMP Bank group are providing to the Williams Martini Racing team will remain a secret, but that amount will go towards the development of the car.
SMP Racing is backing Sergey Sirotkin in 2018, with the Russian having secured the final seat on the grid at Williams ahead of the likes of Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta, Daniil Kvyat and Pascal Wehrlein, but Samorukov hopes the investment they’ve made will go towards making the car more competitive.
“The financial side of the deal is top secret, but we’re very hopeful – actually, certain – that the monetary part will be directed at the development of technologies, for the car to go faster,” said Samorukov on Motorsport.com.
“To be even more precise: we know that the financial cooperation with Williams will go towards improving the car. Whatever the money is, it will go towards making the car more competitive.”
SMP boss Boris Rotenberg says that whilst money is an important part of Formula 1, the fact they are investing in Sirotkin’s future did not guarantee the Russian the drive with Williams, and his abilities behind the wheel were the deciding factor.
“Money is always an important part of motorsport, it’s an expensive sport,” said Rotenburg. “But here it’s not a money principle, it’s Sergey, who’s proven he can work with the car, he can be as fast as the team’s regular drivers, and he can work with the machinery, the engineers, and establish a great relationship with the team.
“That’s why Williams chose him, because in Abu Dhabi he did the best he could and surprised everybody. Yes, we’re investing money, but we’re investing it in technology, in the new car, that we’ll see in February and going forward.”