Sergey Sirotkin says that Willaims' plans for 2019 already look like a big step forward, and he is confident that the Grove squad can avoid a repeat of its disastrous 2018 season.
Williams has been the clear backmarkers this year, scoring just seven points across the season so far. The car has proven difficult to handle, but Sirotkin believes that next year will see a new dawn for the former world champions.
“I don’t want to be too optimistic, but it [2019 plans] looked already quite a big step better than the situation was exactly this time last year about the current car,” he said. “Even in terms of the time-wise, let’s say, it is a step ahead, which is always good.
“So again I don’t want to say that we will be immediately back and everything will be 100 per cent as we want. But for sure it looks like we learned a big lesson and did a good improvement based on the work we did so far this year,” he added.
Sirotkin has not yet been confirmed for 2019, however, it is expected that he will stay at the team. Going forward, he stated that a different mindset will also benefit Williams in the long term as it regroups and tries to make gains on its rivals.
“I think it’s based on fundamental understanding, let’s say, on the process to build the car, it started from there,” he said. “That’s why it took us so long to understand it properly and get over it.
“I think now we learned many lessons about the very, very basics of all the procedure from zero to the end and I think the way we approach it with the new car is going to be already with quite a different process, [a different] system. So we can avoid the issues we finally found this year and obviously get more performance from it.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing