Sergey Sirotkin feels some of the performances he has delivered in his rookie season so far have gone unnoticed, but admits he has been wary of self-praise.
Williams has endured a dismal season to date, with Lance Stroll’s eight place in Azerbaijan standing as the team’s only point-scoring result, and leaving it stranded at the bottom of the constructors’ championship. With two inexperienced drivers, progress has been slow, but Sirotkin – who is the only driver in Formula 1 yet to score this season – says he has learned a lot in his debut campaign and thinks the car’s lack of pace has masked his performance.
“I mean, it’s very difficult to look at because for sure before the season expectations were very different,” Siroktin said. “Obviously when we found ourselves where we did after the first few races, it was a bit of a shocking situation for all of us. So I had to kind of back off my expectations and the mindset of the team and us drivers as well.
“Honestly, it was still tough for me as a driver to end up in that situation, but at the same time it has been a very good boost and a big challenge. I always have this sensation that it has been so often when I thought I have been doing a really, really good job, but from the outside it looks like nothing more than OK. In such moments it’s quite difficult to rate yourself.
“[Hungary] and Germany are more of those cases where I was really, really happy with what I did, but again I’m a little bit shy to say this because I know how it looks from the outside, and it probably doesn’t sound the best to hear this from me.”
Sirotkin says the way he has integrated himself within the team to try and help improve the situation is one of the aspects of his season he is most proud of.
“I would say for sure it didn’t match expectations, but I think I can be more than happy with how I recovered from the situation and I really feel like I have my position in the team,” he said. “I really enjoy taking on this role, taking on this responsibility, taking on this challenge, and also to feel the trust and the confidence in me.
“Not only being a driver who comes and drives the car but also being the driver who is in the team and part of the team. I am really enjoying this. Again, it has been really tough and it is a big challenge, but I really have faith and big hopes that we will get through it together as one team; every single guy.”