Sergey Sirotkin has now emerged as the favourite for the second Williams' seat for next year. Sirotkin had tested alongside Robert Kubica in Abu Dhabi, with it being believed that Kubica was the favourite for the seat before the test, in what would have been a remarkable return to F1 after his injury almost seven years ago.
Kubica had been rated as one of the best drivers in F1 before his accident, performing well in uncompetitive cars and even winning the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix. He also reportedly had impressed Williams with his knowledge of car set up and his ability to strike good relations within the team but has failed to impress in terms of pure pace compared to Sirotkin.
Sirotkin as well as having a supposed pace advantage over Kubica is also said to be bringing significant backing to the team in the region of £15 million, and would be his first season in F1 after previously having testing roles for both Renault and Sauber, where he was in line for a drive for the 2014 season before the deal fell through.
Should the deal fall through with Sirotkin it is believed that Kubica is now completely out of the running for the seat and that it would be former Toro Rosso and Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat who would step into the seat. This also effectively rules out Williams reserve driver Paul Di Resta and former Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein who were both in reported contention for the seat.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing