Surprisingly, Sergey Sirotkin has now emerged as favourite to drive for Williams next year with Robert Kubica not under consideration anymore. The Crewe-based team spent last week evaluating the data gathered from Abu Dhabi Pirelli test at Yas Marina after running both Sirotkin and Kubica.
Kubica has so far been said to be the favourite to make a heroic comeback to F1 as the team was believed to be impressed by his feedback and the way he built up strong relationships within the team. However, on performance basis Sirotkin has emerged as the stronger candidate.
Williams earlier cleared that the decision to partner Lance Stroll will be based on performance mainly. It has been reported that conversations with the Russian have gone fruitful and he could be announced as the second driver but there are some important details yet to be finalised.
Having spent time with Renault as its reserve driver this past season, Sirotkin is said to bring substantial backing in the region of £15 million from Russia’s SMP Racing – founded by the owner of SMP Bank. If the deal does not click, former Toro Rosso and Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat is the remaining option as Kubica and Paul di Resta are completely ruled out of the equation.