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Williams to announce 2018 driver line-up on Friday

  • Published on 13 Dec 2017 08:42
  • comments 13
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Williams will finally reveal the identity of Lance Stroll's 2018 teammate on Friday. With Felipe Massa retiring, the once-great British team is the last on next year's grid to firm up its driver plans. After a seven year F1 absence due to injury, Robert Kubica was believed to have been the frontrunner.

But Renault reserve Sergey Sirotkin then became a late contender, reportedly promising $15 million in sponsorship and going quicker than Kubica in the post-Abu Dhabi test. Russia's Tass news agency now reports that Williams will end the long period of speculation by making an announcement on Friday, 15 December.

"All Russian fans of motor sport hope very much to hear confirmation about Sirotkin and Williams in the very near future," said Russian motor racing federation chief Igor Yermilin. "As far as I understand, talks are proceeding and the management of Sergey and SMP Racing are working hard," he told Sportbox.

It is understood that Kubica is now out of the running completely, with only Sirotkin's Russian compatriot Daniil Kvyat regarded as a remote 'plan B'. "Ideally we would like to see both Russians in the team, but unfortunately that is unrealistic," said Yermilin. "In any case, both are worthy of being race drivers for Williams or other teams." (GMM)

Replies (13)

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  • It was very close for Kubica but he lost his chance not in Abu Dhabi but back in 2011. C'est la vis

    • + 0
    • Dec 13 2017 - 09:43
  • kngrthr

    Posts: 203

    honda ended his chances.

    if they had been any good and stayed with mclaren, then Kubica would be with Renault by now

    • + 0
    • Dec 13 2017 - 09:47
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      Well that’s an interesting perspective. I wonder what they would make of that?

      • + 0
      • Dec 13 2017 - 11:21
    • An interesting thought, and in a sense that could be the case, since the McLaren swap did spark the Sainz move. But Im inclined to disagree: Kubica has been on Renault's radar for at least two years. Had they been legit interested in him, they'd grabbed him or told Williams to GTFO. Look at any Red Bull driver. They've guarded them like a rabid dog guards a bit of meat up until they were ready to either let someone borrow them temporarily (while noting that they and they alone own them) or throw them away, as they now did with Kvyat.

      • + 0
      • Dec 13 2017 - 18:10
  • Kean

    Posts: 681

    I'm excited to see what Sirotkin can do, I have a feeling that boy is fast and works well with a team.

    • + 0
    • Dec 13 2017 - 10:38
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      Yes either he or Kvyat although Daniil May have to have some “growing-up” to do yet. If you look at what Max has achieved from aged 17, then this boy has easily got the chances. All he needs to do is curb those Russian ‘banzai’ moments, but if the car is good, he’ll be there or thereabouts...

      • + 0
      • Dec 13 2017 - 11:24
  • s_ya

    Posts: 21

    The main thing ... A good car ... And pilots are always both novice and inexperienced, without this either as

    • + 0
    • Dec 13 2017 - 16:24
    • s_ya

      Posts: 21

      To gain experience you need to participate

      • + 0
      • Dec 13 2017 - 16:27
  • Really? Martini and Williams suddenly penned a new contract saying 19 and 22 years of age is okay? Maybe Martini has non-alcoholic brands I don't know of, apple juice maybe?

    • + 0
    • Dec 14 2017 - 08:53
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      21 is the drinking age in 99% of the world although brands are ‘encouraged’ by various Govts to appeal to a more mature audience especially in over regulated Europe. Martini’s resistance to ‘younger’ drivers appears to be driven by their product target market, the ‘sophisticated’ over 25’s and various Govt ‘guidelines’ , so the alcohol issue is really not a legal problem with a 22 year old, but pseudo moral.

      • + 0
      • Dec 14 2017 - 09:42
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      I was going to say that they (Martini) are skating on thin ice anyway with alcohol openly linked with driving! What’s one underage pilot compared with that?

      • + 0
      • Dec 14 2017 - 09:45
  • Niids

    Posts: 43

    Despite of leaked "Game over" message from private Kubica's twitter account, his father stated lately they are still in the game. It's also expected to Kubica show up in Williams HQ tomorrow. One more day and we will know. Still I consider his chaces low.

    • + 0
    • Dec 14 2017 - 10:52

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