Sergey Sirotkin: Robert Kubica knows F1 is every man for himself

Sergey Sirotkin says Robert Kubica understands Formula 1 is "every man for himself" and they will have a good relationship at Williams in 2018

Sergey Sirotkin: Robert Kubica knows F1 is every man for himself

Kubica appeared to be on the brink of a Williams race seat - almost seven years after the horrific rallying crash that interrupted his F1 career - before Sirotkin was called up for an Abu Dhabi test and ended up beating him to the drive.

LAWRENCE BARRETTO: Under-fire Sirotkin is already surprising

Williams has retained Kubica in a development role to support Sirotkin and team-mate Lance Stroll.

In an in-depth interview with Autosport's sister publication motorsport.com, Sirotkin was asked how he felt about the Kubica situation.

"To be honest, we've many times touched upon that subject - painful for some, not so for others," said Sirotkin.

"But you saw it - myself and Robert, we're talking here.

"He's a really nice, great person. I understand his position, I truly respect him, he's achieved so much.

"But we're not here to be these good kids yielding and giving way to each other.

"It's every man for himself, and he understands it just as well.

"It happened the way it happened. And I think we've got a normal relationship."

Asked if he had felt the need to diffuse any tension with Kubica, Sirotkin replied: "I don't think so, and I think that's a sign of my great respect for him.

"He's an experienced person. I won't say 'respect' a hundred times, list all of his achievements, but he gets it just as well. So no, there's no need for any talks like that."

He admitted that Williams's head of performance engineering Rob Smedley had not held back from quizzing Sirotkin about Kubica ahead of his first test.

"First thing that he asked me when we'd met - as I recall it - during seat fitting before Abu Dhabi, for the test, was: 'you and Robert tested for Renault. Who was quicker?'" Sirotkin revealed.

"Honestly, in his place, I would've probably asked the same thing."

Sirotkin said he quickly sensed during the Abu Dhabi test that he was exceeding Williams's expectations.

"Not even because of the results, but because of the reaction I saw within the team," he said.

"It lifted me up a lot, and I really began to believe in this opportunity after the test.

"I just saw the the way the tech crew reacted to the result, and to how the whole day had gone, how the preparations had gone, to the work that we did on the simulator afterwards.

"You could say that I realised I did do my job well, and that my chances were much higher than they seemed initially."

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