There was widespread disappointment when it became clear Sergey Sirotkin would get the final seat at Williams for the 2018 Formula 1 campaign, largely because it meant Robert Kubica would not make a sensational race return.
Many felt Williams was becoming a team that needed to take pay drivers to survive again. Siroktin's backers are bringing around £15million to the team while Lance Stroll's billionaire father Lawrence facilitates further funding. But Williams has been insistent that it has settled on its 2018 line-up based purely on performance.
Stroll was already on the books for 2018, but the other seat was up for grabs once Felipe Massa retired. Kubica was Williams's number one target while then-reserve driver Paul di Resta was also in the frame.