Sergey Sirotkin's F1 backers: It was our decision to leave Williams

Outgoing Williams Formula 1 driver Sergey Sirotkin's backer SMP Racing says it decided to split with the Grove-based team, citing poor performance and development rate as the reason

Sergey Sirotkin's F1 backers: It was our decision to leave Williams

Sirotkin, who made his grand prix debut with Williams this year, was confirmed to be leaving the team when it announced Robert Kubica as team-mate to George Russell 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," said SMP Racing chief Boris Rotenberg in a statement.

"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% 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."

Williams has finished in the top 10 in just two races of the campaign so far, and sits last in the constructors' standings heading into the Abu Dhabi finale, with nearest rival Toro Rosso well out of reach on 33 points to the British team's seven.

Sirotkin is responsible for just one of those points, but has largely matched his Racing Point Force India-bound team-mate Lance Stroll over the course of the season.

"He [Sirotkin] will definitely contest many races as part of SMP Racing," Rotenberg continued.

"Our decision will be announced in a short time."

SMP Racing has backed Russian drivers in a wide variety of international series, but now also has a programme in the LMP1 category of the World Endurance Championship - with former F1 champion Jenson Button and grand prix podium finisher Vitaly Petrov part of its line-up for the current campaign.

Taking to social media, Sirotkin confirmed that the Williams split meant he would not be on the F1 grid in 2019.

"Unfortunately I will not be competing in Formula 1 next year," he wrote. "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."

shares
comments
Williams announces Robert Kubica's 2019 Formula 1 racing return

Previous article

Williams announces Robert Kubica's 2019 Formula 1 racing return

Next article

Fernando Alonso reveals special helmet design for final F1 race

Fernando Alonso reveals special helmet design for final F1 race
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sergey Sirotkin
Teams Williams
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021