SMP Racing were 'unpleasantly surprised' by Williams' pace

  • 22 Nov 2018 13:24
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

SMP Racing founder Boris Rotenberg says that it was "unpleasantly surprised" by Williams' pace in 2018 and therefore decided not to continue with the Grove squad. Williams confirmed on Thursday that Robert Kubica would take up the second seat in 2019 alongside George Russell.

Kubica's confirmation comes at the expense of Sergey Sirotkin, who is backed by SMP Racing. The Russian organisation entered a partnership with Williams at the start of the year to allow Sirotkin to race for the full season alongside Lance Stroll.

However, Williams has been the clear backmarkers of the field this year, struggling to exit Q1 and scoring points on very rare occasions. With one round remaining in the 2018 season, it is all but confirmed to finish bottom of the constructor's standings.

Rotenberg stated on Thursday: We took the decision not to continue participating in the Formula 1 world championship in the joint project with the Williams Martini Racing team. We were unpleasantly surprised by the team's performance level at the start of the season, and the car's development rate also turned out to be not high enough.

"Despite this, Sergey managed a good season in the circumstances, gave his 100 percent and fully accomplished the tasks set in front of him. We are satisfied with his work and are currently evaluating options for his racing career going forward."

Sirotkin has struggled through the year, battling with the difficult FW41. He has one point to his name, which he picked up in Italy following the disqualification of Haas' Romain Grosjean.

"Unfortunately I will not be competing in Formula 1 next year," Sirotkin wrote on social media following Williams' driver announcement. "It was a very long and difficult year, and not everything turned out the way I wanted it to.

"But I kept working, put all my effort and my soul into achieving the merited results. And, to be honest, I believe that given the circumstances we have done a respectable job," the Russian added.

Replies (5)

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  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    Credit to Sirotkin. Performed admirably in that hopeless situation.

    • + 0
    • Nov 22 2018 - 17:02
  • To be fair, he has been doing okay, but he didnt necessarily convince me. But sadly he wont get the time to impress us: the Vampire that is Williams has drained him dry of bank, and is now looking for its next victim.

    • + 0
    • Nov 22 2018 - 17:30
  • Kean

    Posts: 474

    Some stats: Quali Str vs. Sir: 8-12, Race Str vs Sir: 12-8. So Sirotkin managed to outqualify Stroll, but I'd expect nothing less since Massa outqualified Stroll by 17-2 the year before. Stroll proved himself to be the better racer, so all in all Sirotkin failed to impress me. What worries me is that Sirotkin was faster than Kubica last year when they tested head to head... Let's hope Kubica has figured out the Pirelli tyres.

    • + 0
    • Nov 22 2018 - 19:41
    • Norbert

      Posts: 92

      @KEAN, I respect for your views as I hope you know. As you say, Sirotkin fell behind Stroll during races. He never dogged benchmark Alonso. He couldn’t keep Stoffel Vandoorne behind and that was a nail in the coffin.

      @KEAN "What worries me is that Sirotkin was faster than Kubica last year when they tested head to head..."

      That’s Alt-fact backwards right? Kubica was faster than Sirotkin when they tested head to head... I was everything but right there.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2018 - 05:01
    • Kean

      Posts: 474

      I wasn't there. I was referring to the times that were released at the time, in the wake of which there was also talk of Kubica not having been able to get on top of handling the Pirellis. I do, however, hope that when corrected for fuel loads etc. etc., Kubica was in fact faster.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2018 - 12:25

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