Robert Kubica, Renault, Hungaroring, 2017

Williams confirm Kubica, Sirotkin and Stroll for test

2017 F1 season

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Williams will run Robert Kubica, Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll in next week’s test at he Yas Marina circuit, the team has confirmed.

The team is yet to confirm who will be Stroll’s team mate for the 2018 F1 season.

Kubica will drive on the Tuesday morning of the two-day test and return to the cockpit on Wednesday afternoon. Sirotkin, a test driver for Renault who has not driven for Williams before, will drive on Wednesday morning and part of the afternoon. Stroll will drive on Tuesday afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tyres on behalf of the Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli,” said the team in a statement.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula One.”

Sirotkin’s last full season of competition was in GP2 (now Formula Two) last year. He finished third behind Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi. He has previously been a test driver for Sauber.

2017 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 47 comments on “Williams confirm Kubica, Sirotkin and Stroll for test”

    1. Got so much excited before completing the headline :D

    2. As far as I can see the motivations for choosing these three for the test are:

      Kubica: Giving him more time behind the wheel to get up to speed and giving the team more time to assess whether he is ready for a full time return.

      Stroll: The kid still needs as much time in the car as he can get.

      Sirotkin: Cash, lots of cash.

      1. I think this is their line-up 2018
        KUB – no 1
        STR – no 2 and cash
        SIR – reserve + cash (some FPs probably too)

      2. @geemac
        Allow me to fix a little detail:

        Stroll: Cash, lots of cash.

      3. It’s obvious that Stroll is the base for comparation.

      4. @geemac, I do think Sirotkin is treated a bit harshly by some here, because his junior record is not that bad – I’m not saying that he is phenomenal, but I do sometimes wonder if he is bashed a bit more heavily than some drivers because he happens to be Russian, and there does seem to be a bit of a prejudice against them (a presumption that, because they are Russian, they must also be a pay driver).

        1. Agreed, Sirotkin is a solid driver.

    3. A prelude to the announcement that everyone can see coming, Kubica to sign 2 year contract with williams. If its not on the cards kubica would right now be evaluating other series for 2018. Mark Hughes says the only stumbling block is paper work – kubica got a big payout for his career ending injury, but now the career is back on, he has to return money to insurance and that is all being sorted in the background beforr official confirmation.

    4. So that means no Paul DiResta then – Pity that.

      1. @ahxshades
        That’d actually be my sole relief …
        But I don’t think this line-up means much, aside from the fact that Kubica is a likely pick in case he can deal with the current cars. Stroll is there because he’s the only confirmed Williams driver, needs the mileage, pays for the ride. Sirotkin is only there for the money. Di Resta, Wehrlein, Kvyat are probably just absent because they can’t compete with Stroll’s or Sirotkin’s cash, not because they’ve been ruled out.
        I’d say the hierarchy between these drivers is:
        1. Kubica (if capable)
        2. any other driver (if Kubica’s limitations are too severe)
        3. no, not Sirotkin

        1. Kvyat is kinda broken at the moment. Between Di Resta and wehrlein for me would be an easy choice. Wehrlein is on the up. Di Resta is not. I like kubica. If fit enough I hope he is picked.

    5. Strange that Kubica was alongside Sirotkin when he tested with Renault earlier this year as well. Do they come as a pair?

      I really hope that Sirotkin is not under consideration. I thought Massa-Stroll was a pretty dreary line-up, but Sirotkin-Stroll would surely represent the worst Williams line-up in many years, if not ever.

      After all this build up, it must be Kubica in the car next year, assuming the performance in Abu Dhabi isn’t abysmal.

      1. Williams is searching on Renault’s trash bin.

      2. You’re being extremely harsh on Sirotkin for no reason. He IS fast, don’t underestimate him. I really hope he is being considered. What’s the point in replacing one granny with another, who also happens to be a cripple now. I know there are lots of Kubica fans around here, and I myself used to be one, but come on, he is past his prime and should let younger people have a go.

        1. @njoydesign A cripple who is still 100× better than Massa, Kvyat, Sirotkin, Di Resta or Wehrlein. What other choice do Williams have.

          1. If that was the fact, Kubica would have been signed by now. His signing is a PR dream come true. But first he did not end up at Renault, and now Williams are delaying the decision (supposedly for paperwork, but who know really). All this suggests that not everything is as rosy as fans imagine.

    6. I can see Kubica whipping the floor with those two with a hand behind his back

      1. I’m hoping he smokes them

      2. I’ll give him a arm and a half :p

    7. I hope neither Sirotkin nor di Resta are getting the seat. While di Resta has experience, he’s not got many years left. And Sirotkin-Stroll, would not be of much use to a team with the aim of scoring enough points to beat Perez-Ocon.

      IMO, Kvyat or Kubica have got to be in that seat but they would only be small improvements over Massa. At least Kvyat has age on his side to improve.

      1. You can’t use age to rule out Di Resta before saying that Kubica should get the seat despite being a year older…

        I think I’d go for Kubica personally, but if he doesn’t make the grade physically, then I have enough faith in Di Resta to give him another shot before seeing who’s available after the shake down at the end of 2018. It may well be that Bottas becomes available again, who I’m sure they’d snap up in a heartbeat.

      2. DiResta might not be a stellar driver who can produce great drives, but he is a solid midfield driver who can get points on merit. In case of not getting Kubica, DiResta should be the second choice for Williams. He has served well for FI in his years there.
        It is better for Kvyat to go to lower series and get his confidence back after what RBR did to him after Russia 2017

        1. Best for Kvyat to get a good indycar ride.

      3. Sirotkin won’t get the seat. Martini needs one of the drivers to be at least 25.

      4. Williams are quietly waiting for new regulations and possible new prize money distribution deal. In the meantime, they need to accumulate as much money as they can, and remain comfortably in the upper midfield. Any of these drivers can do the job Williams need, so it might end up the question of whether the signed drivers can bring a certain amount of money upfront, or if there is any chance Kubica can elevate the team in the standing for the next year for bigger prize money cut.

    8. If the aim is to “evaluate 2018 candidate tyres on behalf of the Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli”, am I right in thinking that we won’t learn anything from comparing the three drivers’ lap times?

      Because in earlier tyre tests, to prevent the team that is testing from gaining an advantage in terms of knowing next year’s tyres, Pirelli didn’t tell the team which tyres they were testing. So if the team and we don’t know who was driving with which tyres, then the team and we can’t compare drivers’ lap times. So in testing those three drivers, the team won’t be looking at outright speed and lap times, but rather at things like technical feedback and how the driver performs his testing program and adapts to changing setups and the like. Right?

      1. They will pick up differences in tyre degradation & temperature build up. they can make an intelligent guess as to which tyre has a harder/softer compound.

        I think that it’s a done deal. They are simply giving kubica more time in the car since testing is very restricted these days. They are also evaluating Sirotkin for the future or a possible reserve driver.

        1. Thanks for the reply. When writing my above post, I had similar thoughts to yours in my mind. I just wasn’t sure whether Pirelli still kept the team in the dark during these tyre tests.

          And yes, I also think Kubica is going to get the seat and that Sirotkin is only being evaluated for a test driver. (For which I couldn’t be happier. I was a massive Kubica fan during his first F1 career.)

          1. All agreed, probably teams have somewhat good understanding of what tire they are on after a days testing.

      2. More than what others have already said I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that Pirelli might just give them info on wich tires are equal to wich. In other words give them, say, 32 tires saying they are all the same and another 32 wich are different from the first but equal in their group. That way you can draw comparisons between drivers without having advantages knowing what kind of tires you are using

    9. So this is basically confirming Kubica for 2018 isn’t it? They won’t want Sitorkin and Stroll because neither have much experience and you’d assume they’d want to at least give a few laps to their new driver…..

    10. I really hope we get the happy ending of Kubica making a successful, competitive return.

      However competitive he does potentially turn off to be though, it’s always going to be a shame that he would have had slightly more of an edge pre-accident.

    11. Am i the only one that gets mad because of Kubica and Di Resta? why would other drivers fight for a place in f1 when old has beens just can take a stroll back in to the sport.

      you got rosenqvist, Rowland and more that deservs a shot.

      I wanted Kubica back but that was 4 years ago, he has been away to long, Di resta was just one big complaining mouth when he drove for Force India and is just as average as Marcus Ericsson.

      Look forward and not backwards! and Schumachers comeback sucked and he is the biggest star in f1 history, why would one win Robert do better?

      1. I wouldn’t call them “old has-beens”. They’re around the same age as Lewis Hamilton and I’m sure you wouldn’t use that phrase to describe him.

        The main problem here is that having Lance Stroll in one seat means it’s almost essential to have a solid, known quantity in the other car. This rules out drivers like Rowland and Rosenqvist, despite them arguably being deserving of it based on lower category showings.

        This stems to a deeper issue, which is the lack of cars on the grid. With even 6 more drives available, we’d see far more opportunity for young drivers and returning favourites.

        1. Lewis is not a has been, because he has not leaved The sport, but he is old now that younger drivers are coming.

          Kubica and di resta has been away far to long, they are like massa, dont know when to stay away and let youngsters have a go

        2. @ben-n, the thing is, most people generally refer back to Kubica’s performances in the 2010 season seven years ago – he did do well that season, but by that logic you might as well pick Heidfeld instead given that, when they raced together at BMW-Sauber in the years before that, Heidfeld’s record at that team was arguably better (over the three seasons they raced together, Heidfeld beat him twice and finished ahead of Kubica more frequently than Kubica finished ahead of him).

          If you want an experienced race driver, there are quite a few former F1 drivers whom you could also turn to, whilst there are a number of experienced single seater race drivers – you could go for a curveball like Lotterer, for example, who is very highly regarded and was considered to have done well in that one off race he did for Caterham.

    12. Kubica or Sirotkin.

      They should have just kept Massa.

      Stupid from Williams.

    13. God did I jump on my chair on that headline, you sneaky @keithcollantine
      But it’s ok

    14. Kubica is a shoe in. Lock him in for 2018 at williams. A great story

    15. Is it just me, or is the Kubica’s return more hyped than Schumacher’s was? I think he’ll be signed, but I certainly hope it would go better than Michael’s.

    16. rumour last week I picked up on a Polish site, Kubica to miss 11 FP1 sessions next year as a contract stipulation. seeing Sirotkin now testing for Williams, that makes sense to me. Sirotkin will bring lots of money to Williams during those practice sessions.
      Everyone is talking about Sirotkin/stroll money. but we are forgetting Nico Rosberg has brokered a deal for 2 sponsors for Kubica that will bring atleast 10million dollars to Williams. one of those sponsors Lotos is rumoured to then also develop fuel for Williams, as their contract with current fuel supplier expires.
      All unofficial, but we will probably find out in just over a week the real story.

    17. Kubica will set a faster lap time than Stroll in the test.

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