Although unhappy to lose his seat at Williams, Sergey Sirotkin insists he and his management had decided staying with the team was not worth pursuing.
Williams announced on Thursday that Robert Kubica will make a sensational return to a race seat in Formula 1, eight years after a rally accident that left him with a partially severed right arm and limited movement. That leaves Sirotkin without a drive and although the Russian is upset to not be on the grid in 2019, he says staying with Williams was no longer a viable option for him.
“Definitely bad news for me,” Sirotkin said. “It wasn’t that new, to be honest. I was informed from the team yesterday night that it’s happening, but already last week I had a few talks with SMP Racing where we analyzed how the things were moving and honestly, I think it’s been quite obvious after those meetings that we don’t want to take part in it anymore.
“Already from last week I kind of knew it was going to happen. I had a week to prepare myself. But I couldn’t prepare myself yet, I still can’t believe it’s happening, so yeah, it is a tough moment for me.
“It all depends how you want to push the things. In the way it was developing it didn’t feel nice to take part in it, let’s say. At certain points we could push a lot more for it, but let’s say it wasn’t worth it.”
Sirotkin says he had distanced himself from anything other than the driving aspects of his future at Williams, with his management team
It’s never one thing. It’s always many things which made us think that way. For me as a racing driver I didn’t care about it at all, all that I cared is to be on the grid, whatever the car is, to do the best job I can, the best job for myself and the best job for the team.
“So even if I kind of saw it last week already I still had a strong trust inside that probably things will change or turn around, probably something will change and this won’t happen, but nothing changed and it happened in the end.
“I always wanted to race, for sure, I’m a pure racing driver, but it’s a package of things. There were a few questions there, let’s say.”
The 23-year-old believes he delivered a good performance during his rookie season — picking up a solitary point to date — as Williams has struggled with an uncompetitive car.
“I feel very sad today because I think, honestly I think that we did a good job. The way we started and how we reacted to that, and how we’ve been as one united team, to be honest I’m happy.
“For sure there were certain situations where I could do better, where I could drive better — everything in your life looking back in the past there’s many things you can do in your life, that’s the same in racing. But I think the way we worked and we are now, I feel so sad that I didn’t do all what I could in F1.
“I think I could do much, much more — let me say it in the way that if at some point I had another chance I’m really ready to use it and prove that I could show much more than for obvious reasons I could not do this year.”