Williams has confirmed Sergey Sirotkin will partner Lance Stroll in 2018, ending Robert Kubica’s hopes of a race seat next season.
Kubica, who carried out a number of tests for both Renault and Williams last year, has been handed the reserve and development driver seat, marking his first full-time role in F1 some seven years after his rally accident that left him with severe injuries.
Following the Abu Dhabi tire test in November – where Williams ran both Kubica and Sirotkin – the team has opted for the 22-year-old Russian as Felipe Massa’s replacement.
“To say I’m happy and proud to join such a famous team like Williams is an understatement,” Sirotkin said. “It took a huge amount of work to get where I am, and I’m really happy and thankful to everyone involved. The result of our combined efforts has helped me achieve my dream, and rest assured the team can rely on me to deliver my best.”
Sirotkin finished third in the GP2 (now Formula 2) championship in both 2015 and 2016, while focusing on his role as a Renault test driver last season alongside a Le Mans appearance. Deputy team principal Claire Williams says the final decision on the driver line-up has only been made after a thorough process assessing all the available options.
“After an extensive driver evaluation process, I am thrilled to have our 2018 line-up finalized, and I’m excited to see what next season brings,” Williams said. “We have taken our time to evaluate all the available options, and I’m confident Lance and Sergey can deliver the best results for the team.
“The Williams philosophy has always been to promote and develop young talent and Sergey fits right into that ethos. Lance has had a record-breaking debut season, and with a year now under his belt, he will be ready to hit the ground running in 2018. We have a talented driver line-up for 2018, that we are confident will deliver some exciting results for the team.”