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Billionaire backer Rotenberg pushes for Sirotkin seat

  • Published on 18 Dec 2017 10:03
  • comments 16
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Powerful Russian businessman Boris Rotenberg says he is pushing hard to secure Sergey Sirotkin's place on the 2018 grid. The matter of Williams' final driver for next season has become the subject of high speculation, with Russian Sirotkin and Robert Kubica vying for the seat.

It was claimed last week that the British team was ready to end Kubica's comeback hopes by confirming a deal for Sirotkin. But Williams now says a decision will not be made until January. Sirotkin's backers, including the SMP Bank owner and billionaire Rotenberg who is reportedly close to Vladimir Putin, are reportedly promising over EUR 15 million in sponsorship.

Rotenberg told Russian media he is working hard on the deal. "I never like to talk in advance," he said. "It's like football, when you only say you want to win the next game."

"We are all hoping and trying to do everything, but it depends not only on us. The main thing is that they (Williams) understand us, but in any case Sergey deserves to go to formula one," Rotenberg added. "He beat the competition, going faster than Kubica and at the level of Stroll. So we now have the opportunity to put him into a car," he said. (GMM)

Replies (16)

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  • He wasn't faster then Kubica

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

      Posts: 625

      According to the times I saw, he was marginally quicker than Robert at the beginning of the test and about .5 sec per lap quicker by the end. I can’t remember where I saw the times posted though. His comment seemed to suggest that Sirotkin was as quick(!) as Stroll. I would have hoped he was much faster! I’m still hanging in there for Daniil though...🤞

      • + 0
      • Dec 18 2017 - 11:01
    • Niids

      Posts: 43

      If he was indeed faster, there would be no doubt who to sign. I don't believe in any sentiments in this decision process.

      • + 0
      • Dec 18 2017 - 11:15
    • Kean

      Posts: 679

      The times I saw posted, and from what I've read, it is difficult to make heads or tails over who was faster. I read that Kubica was "only marginally" faster than Stroll and slower than Massa on comparable tyres. But is that really that bad - being faster than one of the drivers and slower than the other in a car that the other drivers have gotten used to over the course of the year, while Kubica is only getting familiar with it? Sirotkin set his fastest lap on the soft tyre while Kubica did it on the hyper soft, and if Pirelli's information is correct the soft tyre should be over 1 sec per lap slower than the hyper soft, if not more and Sirotkin was only 0,5 sec slower. However, I also saw a chart comparing their stints, and there Sirotkin was constantly faster than Kubica BUT Kubica constantly did longer stints, so Sirotkin could have been faster because he was burning up the tyres too fast. So like I said, difficult to make heads or tails of it.

      • + 0
      • Dec 18 2017 - 13:17
  • Jutlandia

    Posts: 190

    No more Russian torpedos please!

    • + 0
    • Dec 18 2017 - 14:04
  • Money? speed? Publicity? I think, we all know what Williams going to choose.

    • + 0
    • Dec 18 2017 - 16:38
  • The title is suggestive as it assumes it's all about money being taken in, which in this case it isn't - it's about how much money has to go out.

    If opting for Kubica, it's all about settling with the insurance that paid out the Pole. If opting for Sirotkin, more money comes in, but more money stays out due to the age requirement of Martini. They won't disappear, but they'll just be less prominent and smaller as sponsor (read: money provider). So, in the end, the choice is being made after all the plus and minus and given the deal proposed by Rosberg, I think they'll start with Kubica.

    • + 1
    • Dec 18 2017 - 16:47
    • Rosberg proposes a financial and sportive opt-out for both parties after the Canadian GP. Meaning Kubica pays his own bill and if he's much slower compared to Stroll or his own liking, he will make way for another driver. Rosberg is to do massive promotion for the Martini brand, whom will benefit as this is the 2016 world champion.

      In short, Kubica (7m) minus insurance bill plus opt-out is less risky, than Sirotkin (15m) minus less Martini-sponsorship.

      • + 2
      • Dec 18 2017 - 16:51
  • denis1304

    Posts: 279

    If Sirotkin (after 1 test) and Kubica (after 2 tests) are on the same level as Stroll with full season under the belt, then Stroll doesn't deserve seat in F1... but money talks...

    • + 1
    • Dec 18 2017 - 17:20
  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    Yeah I see no moral implications to the idea of getting into bed with Vladimir Putin.

    • + 0
    • Dec 18 2017 - 20:18
    • They already did it with Hugo Chavez with Pastor Maldonado. Why not Russia now?

      • + 0
      • Dec 19 2017 - 22:39
  • Harryw

    Posts: 105

    Russia the mafia state paying for this undeserving bloke to drive in F1. Pathetic

    • + 0
    • Dec 19 2017 - 10:59
    • Typical Williams. They already pulled one like this with Maldonado. Although at least Pastor was a convincing GP2 champion when he came in. Williams is rubbish.

      • + 0
      • Dec 19 2017 - 22:40
  • Harryw

    Posts: 105

    Is Williams that unattractive to drive for? Are these lads the best options out there? I doubt it.

    • + 0
    • Dec 19 2017 - 11:02
    • Kean

      Posts: 679

      The best choice for them would be Felix Rosenqvist (some UK F1 pundits agree with me there), but he doesn't bring sponsors. Neither do DiResta or Wehrlein (Mercedes discount far less than $7 million). Seems Kubica and Sirotkin are the best choices out of the drivers that can bring a lot of money. But Williams must really be in dire straits since they already have Stroll there, and he brings probably 2-3 times more money than Sirotkin.

      • + 0
      • Dec 20 2017 - 13:39

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