Williams to announce second driver on Friday

Dec.13 (GMM) 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.”

Related News

  • 24/11/2017 Massa knows identity of Williams successor Nov.24 (GMM) Felipe Massa says he already knows who his replacement will be at Williams next year. The Brazilian veteran has been nudged back into retirement for 2018, amid strong […]
  • 10/01/2018 Sponsor issues ‘no comment’ to Sirotkin reports Jan.10 (GMM) A man close to the negotiations has issued a firm "no comment" on whether Williams' 2018 driver lineup is now complete. Although Robert Kubica was earlier a popular […]
  • 08/01/2018 Villeneuve ‘only sees the negative’ – Stroll Jan.8 (GMM) Lance Stroll has hit back at Jacques Villeneuve, saying the former Williams driver is "always negative". 1997 world champion Villeneuve, who drove for the British team when […]
  • 30/11/2017 Williams not discussing Kubica’s pace Nov.30 (GMM) Williams is keeping the F1 world in suspense over whether Robert Kubica will return to the grid next year. With minor car modifications to accommodate his permanently […]
  • 28/11/2017 Stroll ‘understands’ need to improve – Lowe Nov.28 (GMM) Paddy Lowe has admitted he hopes Lance Stroll learns from his difficulties in 2017. 19-year-old Stroll, backed by his billionaire father Lawrence, has struggled at times […]
  • 15/12/2017 Kubica ‘still fighting’ for Williams seat – father Dec.15 (GMM) Robert Kubica's father says the Pole is still in the running to be named Williams' second driver for 2018. Multiple sources reported this week that although the Pole was the […]
  • 04/01/2018 Briatore ‘very sorry’ Kubica comeback failed Jan.4 (GMM) Flavio Briatore says it's a shame Robert Kubica will not make a sensational return to formula one in 2018. A source close to Kubica, the former BMW and Renault driver who […]
  • 03/02/2017 SMP not looking to deepen F1 involvement Feb.3 (GMM) Boris Rothenberg, who heads Russia's major SMP Bank and a racing division called SMP Racing, said he is not looking to expand the F1 programme. SMP has been represented […]
  • 16/11/2017 Villeneuve, Montoya, question Kubica comeback Nov.16 (GMM) Two former F1 drivers have cast doubt on Robert Kubica's ability to successfully return to formula one next year. More authoritative sources are now joining French […]
  • 12/11/2017 Kubica set for post-Abu Dhabi Williams test Nov.12 (GMM) Robert Kubica looks set to get yet another chance to prove himself at the wheel of a formula one car. The Pole is a leading candidate to return to the grid next year with […]