Williams Insist Martini Departure Not Linked to the Age of Stroll, Sirotkin

Sergey Sirotkin arrives at Williams with the full backing of Martini
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Claire Williams has dismissed the rumours linking Martini’s decision to leave Formula 1 at the end of the season to Williams Martini Racing’s failure to not hire a driver over the age of twenty-five in to replace Felipe Massa in 2018.

Martini has been vocal previously about wanting a driver over twenty-five so that driver could carry the brand name at every Grand Prix, but in nineteen-year-old Lance Stroll and twenty-two-year-old Sergey Sirotkin, the Williams F1 Team has two drivers under that age, which will mean the Martini brand name will be absent at some events.

Claire Williams, deputy team principal of the Grove-based team, insists the decision to bring in Sirotkin was fully supported by Martini, and it was always going to be a challenge to recruit a driver over twenty-five.

“I talked quite a lot last year about making sure we had drivers who were able to activate from a marketing perspective because of Martini’s 25 year age limit,” said Williams on PlanetF1. “Going into this year it is hard to find drivers over 25.

“They [Martini] were fully supportive of us bringing in Sergey and it played no part in their decision-making process moving forward as they were fully aware of ours plans and supportive of it.

“I suppose next year it gives us the freedom to do what we want without having to worry about age limits.”