Sirotkin confirmed as Williams F1 driver alongside Stroll

Sirotkin confirmed as Williams F1 driver alongside Stroll

The 33-year-old Polish driver, who last raced F1 in 2010, still hopes to find a way back into the sport that once promised him a glittering career.

The Pole nearly lost his arm in the accident but, after surgery and rehabilitation, returned to drive in the World Rally Championship.

After months of deliberation, Williams have confirmed F1 rookie Sirotkin as Lance Stroll's partner for the upcoming season, instead hiring Kubica as their new reserve and development driver.

Williams said the Pole will take part in testing before and during the season as well as some Friday practice sessions and simulator work. "It has taken a lot of work to get to where I am now, so I'd like to thank Williams for the opportunities they have given me so far".

Williams announced on Tuesday that it signed up Russian racer Sergey Sirotkin to race for the team in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship.

He added: "My ultimate goal is to race again in F1 and this is another important step in that direction".

But Paddy Lowe, the chief technical officer at Williams, expects him to nonetheless make an impact in a secondary role. "We have a talented driver line-up for 2018, that we are confident will deliver some exciting results for the team".

Sirotkin, 22, will bring in a financial package of around £15million to the Grove-based F1 team after agreeing a two-year deal.

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At the same time the Russian driver impressed Williams at the tyre test and hails his performance as the enabler to "achieve my dream" of reaching F1.

Williams will have the youngest driver line-up on the grid in 2018, with Sirotkin and Stroll having a combined age of 41.

"It took a huge amount of work to get where I am", Sirotkin said.

The Pole, though, will be in the paddock as the team's official reserve and development driver with the aim of one day returning to a race-seat.

Williams believe Kubica's experience and knowledge will prove invaluable to their technical group in the development of their new FW41 auto.

Sirotkin replaces Brazilian veteran Felipe Massa, who retired at the end of past year.

"And clearly every single time he was in the auto and had no reliability problems, because maybe luck is not his strength, I can tell you we were very impressed by his technical feedback, his understanding of the vehicle and the accuracy in his feedback".

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