Stroll, Sirotkin Line-up ‘a Risky Decision’ for Williams – di Resta

Paul di Resta feels the 2018 Williams line-up is a risky one
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Paul di Resta believes the Williams Martini Racing line-up of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin is a ‘risky’ one, particularly as there will be some other teams looking to get ahead of the Grove-based outfit in 2018.

For the second consecutive season, Williams finished fifth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2017, behind the leading three teams and the Sahara Force India F1 Team, but with Felipe Massa now retired, they will be relying on the solitary year of experience of Stroll alongside rookie Sirotkin this season.

Di Resta was one of a number of drivers who were in contention for the ride alongside Stroll, and participated in a test day at the Hungaroring just days after deputising for an ill Massa at the same venue, with the Scot feeling he gave a good account for himself.

“I was very happy with the test I did,” said di Resta to RACER. “Exceptionally happy with the test I did. I had one of those days in a car that you couldn’t ask for any better, and I feel that I delivered to the best of my potential, which they can see.”

However, di Resta was overlooked for the seat in favour of Sirotkin, with Robert Kubica also usurping him in his role of reserve driver, but with the likes of the McLaren F1 Team and the works Renault Sport Formula 1 Team looking to make gains, having such an inexperienced line-up of Stroll and Sirotkin looks to be a risky one if they want to at least maintain their position in the championship this season.

“It’s a risky decision, the driver line-up, in the experience the guys have got,” said di Resta. “Obviously Lance has got a year under his belt, Sirotkin coming in… The key things for me is already you’ve got McLaren who are a key championship contender and Renault as a constructor should be able to beat somebody like Williams. Where does that fall within where you are in keeping the momentum?

“Obviously as the years go on, the experience of having a Mercedes engine diminishes a bit, so they’ve got a tough ask. But there’s more to the decisions than everything that comes out and fundamentally that board sat together and took what their best [decision] was from what they had on the table, for all the reasons that come into it.”