Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Sirotkin confirms he won’t race in F1 next year

2019 F1 season

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Sergey Sirotkin has confirmed he will not be on the Formula 1 grid next year after losing his seat at Williams to Robert Kubica.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be racing in Formula 1 next year,” Sirotkin announced on social media after Kubica’s return was confirmed.

The SMP Racing-backed driver made his F1 debut this year and scored his only point to date with 10th place in the Italian Grand Prix in September.

“It was very long and tough year,” he said, “not everything went as I wanted it to be, but I kept working and gave all my energy and all my heart to achieve what I feel we deserved to,” he said.

“If I am honest, I do believe we did a very reasonable job in current situation we found ourselves this year.”

Sirotkin will make his last F1 start in this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Thanks everyone for your support, for your trust and warm words,” he added. “Thanks for all the support I got during the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi which did seriously touch me a lot.

“And partly thanks to you all this season will always remain in my memory. Thanks for everything, dear friends.”

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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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30 comments on “Sirotkin confirms he won’t race in F1 next year”

  1. Well, he hasn’t really been able to impress much, but

    “It was very long and tough year,” he said, “not everything went as I wanted it to be, but I kept working and gave all my energy and all my heart to achieve what I feel we deserved to,” he said.

    “If I am honest, I do believe we did a very reasonable job in current situation we found ourselves this year.”

    is probably about right. I think Vandoorne has more talent, and had a lot more potential, and it’s over for him too, so I am not feeling super sorry for Sirotkin, but I do think he has shown himself to be a decent guy, and a hard worker.

  2. Will he buy another seat in F1? I doubt it, I think he will now do some WEC stuff with the SMP mob.

  3. I thought Sergey put in some very fine performances this year.
    Shame to see him go but there are only just so many seats I suppose.

    1. Yeah.. I thought he actually had some good moments for a rookie. His Monaco qualifying comes to mind, and so does his bad luck at the start of that race. That’s just the kind of season he had. One where he was getting to grips with F1, and when he did put in a strong performance, it was just washed away with bad luck.

      He was however better than his good for nothing teammate. He was quicker than him, more mature as a racer, more respectful towards the team, and a more pleasing personality. Stroll however, does set the lowest bar possible on all those categories… so that isn’t saying much in a way.

      I don’t know if it’s the end of the line for him in F1, but it does seem that way.

      1. He did have some good moments, bu he also had come complete novice shockers.

        100% agree regards Stroll though … seems an injustice that he gets a promotion & others more deserving than him are out of F1.

    2. I liked that his feedback over radio was very concise unlike vague feedback given by his teammate. Shame he didnt get a competitive car to showcase his talent.

  4. Personally I’m sad to see him go. I never thought I’d say it about somebody who was instantly forgettable in the lower formulae.

    I like the idea of holding “pay drivers” to account, and I don’t think we got to do that with Sirotkin. On the other hand we’re very quick to celebrate Kubica’s return once he found the cash. Will we be as harsh with our judgement of him?

    On that note I really do hope RK makes this a real fairy tale. I’d hate for his comeback to spoil the old, fond memories I have of him. Sadly, I can’t help but think he’ll be a shadow of his former self.

    1. Alonso brought cash, its not about cash its about results. pre crash Kubica proved himself a brilliant defensive driver and as quick as Lewis or Alonso. He has credibility, Sirotkin needed to earn his, he didn’t and it should be difficult to feel sorry for him but weirdly I still do

      1. Because with how bad that williams was he never really had a chance to prove himself. And we all kind of feel it.
        Apparently there was something shady behind the scene. He said in an interview that the desicion to cut ties with Williams was made by SMP few weeks before Kubica was confirmed.

  5. A shame. I’ve really liked him throughout the season especially in interviews.

    1. @jerejj – pretty much exactly my sentiments. And in the car he had, it’s so hard to estimate how good a driver he is.

  6. The main fact here is that Kubica hasn’t drove an F1 car in anger in the last 7 years, his right hand is partially severed and why didn’t he secure a seas at Renault? I don’t think it will go well

    1. Renault comparison doesn’t make sense, cause they had sainz available, a proven quantity, that they knew could perform close to kubica at his best.

  7. Is Williams still a racing team or just a team paid to make an appearance.
    It is ridiculous to think with all their experience, they managed to mess up their season. When they qualified well, they messed up in the pits.
    Their race strategy was purely a mess, running odd strategies hoping to luck into something.
    I just can’t believe this is the great Williams.
    If I was Sirotkin, I’d be asking for my money back.

    1. It’s not even his money, it’s a russian sponsor, he only got those money to go in f1, wouldn’t have otherwise.

  8. You know F1 is in trouble when Sky F1’s runaway driver of the year can’t keep his seat.

    1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      22nd November 2018, 10:48

      beat me to it!

    2. @bealzbob – you, sir, win the internet today!

      1. @phylyp I gratefully accept :)

    3. Sky F1’s “runaway driver of the year award” was a facetious pity prize like mussing the hair after pulling the tie. At least that’s how I took it. I heard he also takes home a case of Rich Energy laundry and bong water.

  9. Shame, I thought he did a good job with a rubbish car. Beat Stroll convincingly in qualifying. Would rather have seen him stay on the grid in place of Raikkonnen, Stroll and the Haas drivers. Seemed like a hard worker and a nice chap and I can’t help but feel Williams has treated him shoddily in leaving their decision so late. But then what do we expect these days?

    1. I think he was one of the weak links on the grid. Raikkonen is a WDC. Grosjean has always been fast (if fallible), and Magnussen has proven himself by beating him relatively convincingly. I’m no fan of Stroll but at least he has age on his side. He was only 19 at the start of the season and was the youngest driver on the grid. Next season is a big one for Lance given that he’ll more than likely be in a competitive car at Force India and he won’t be a rookie. With the next generation coming through like Russell, Norris, plus Schumacher and Ticktum in the wings, I suspect Sirotkin will not be missed.

    2. 0.067s on average is hardly convincing. I am not sad to see him leave, if you are good as Stroll, you are not good enough. There are many drivers deserving F1 seats and never getting them or losing them. I don’t agree with people defending Sirotkin, I feel it is based on a) looking solid compared to his team-mate (notwithstanding the fact he was going against mediocre driver) and b) looked sympathetic in interviews.

      1. Don’t forget stroll is not so bad in the races, check 2017, he’s weak in qualifying, so beating stroll ONLY in qualifying doesn’t say much.

  10. A mature message from him, a possible hint to the character that underlies the driver?

  11. Translated…. “My backers pulled the plug”…

    1. He actually said that he and his backers decided they would not continue with Williams “considering what was going on around these couple of months” in his full interview. At least thats how i can translate it, it was done in russian.

  12. Great. And good bye. That was big mistake.

  13. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    22nd November 2018, 21:12

    Doesn’t surprise in anyway, and I doubt he’ll be remember in 10-15 years, but he did drive a whole lot better than all of us predicted/feared at the start of the season, and he certainly was a match for Stroll….

  14. thanks for confirming, Sergei

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