Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, Interlagos, 2018

Sirotkin didn’t enjoy “painful” final F1 race

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Sergey Sirotkin described his final Formula 1 race as “painful” after struggling with an overheating car throughout the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Williams driver, who finished last, called it “the most difficult race of a very difficult season” in a post on social media.

“I wanted to fight, I wanted to finish the season on a high but unfortunately I had to fight not with other cars but with ERS and rims temperatures all the way through my first stint.”

Sirotkin said his problems began from the start of the race. “I didn’t get the best start and straight away I lost a lot of ground and wasn’t in the best position for the next sequences of corners.

“I had problems with the car overheating so for one-third of the race I had to do massive cooling. It was such a painful race, such a painful stint. I was trying my best to cool it down as quick as I could but as other cars pitted and came out behind me, I tried to fight, protect and cool the car at the same time and it was a mess.

“I didn’t enjoy it. It has been a very, very painful race. I really wanted to enjoy it and it’s just so painful to finish the season like this.”

Williams has confirmed George Russell and Robert Kubica as its drivers for next year, leaving Sirotkin without a drive. But he hasn’t given up hope on returning to F1.

“Thanks for all your support, guys,” he added on social media. “I do really believe it’s not the end.”

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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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  • 16 comments on “Sirotkin didn’t enjoy “painful” final F1 race”

    1. We didn’t enjoy having you on the grid either. Bye.

      1. I don’t think he’s done too bad, in what is a truly dreadful car. What more can you expect? He may as well have ridden a push-bike around all season and so long as he got out of the way when blue flags came we’d no more or less to judge him on.

        1. Actually you can judge, and expect more, for a driver to do well in f1, he has to be best of the best and not just another driver doing a good job. Look at alonso in minardi, or kubica in 2010 Renault… These guys deliver results beyond what is expected. Leclerc did that this year in Sauber many times, and Gasly a few times in toro rosso. Ricciardo has been the guy in this Mercedes domination era that can pull out that special performance that results in an unexpected win. Sirotkin did OK for a pay driver, but it is not enough to be OK, and that is why Stroll should Not be in f1. I bet even with Sirotkin’s Russian mafia money backing (sanctioned) , he won’t ever find a seat in f1 again, he didn’t do l anything beyond the call of what is required, even in junior series. Last year he was announced as a long term plans driver for Williams. Notice Williams are not going out of their way to thank stroll or sirotkin? They took these drivers money and ran! Stroll and Sirotkin’s dollars will pay dividends next year, and 2 better proven drivers will bring home better results

          1. Dariusz Makarewicz
            26th November 2018, 15:22

            @kpcart 100% right. look into statistics Sirotkin maybe was quicker at singel laps in qualification, but stroll was better overall in race.

          2. not as if kubica did any better than sirotkin when he drove the car.

            he was last during his fp1 runs in austria and abu dhabi and was 1.5 seconds slower than stroll who in qualifying this weekend was slower than sirotkin.

            guess kubica is the worst of the 3 since he got less out of the car than they did?

            1. Comparing team mates’ lap times in practice sessions is totally useless. Compare them in qualifying sessions.

      2. @dusty I did, actually, and quite a lot of commentators and journalists said they though he good a good job. I agree with them, made a good fist of a terrible car and was clearly faster than Stroll. Plus he seemed like a nice chap, very professional and really knew what he was talking about when it came to the car.

        1. @tflb, the problem for some posters here seems to be the fact that he was not Kubica and they resent the fact that he took a seat that they seem to believe Kubica had an automatic right to.

          Because of that, he has to be talked down, have his name dragged through the mud with accusations that he has “dirty mafia money” backing him and kicked about – they want to, and indeed almost feel compelled to, denigrate and hate him for spoiling their dream.

          Part of it also feels like, to some extent, people here still seem to think of Williams in terms of what they were like 20 to 30 years ago, when they were one of the strongest teams of the sport. They seem unable to bring themselves to criticise the team itself, so it is so much easier to blame the drivers and to say “it’s all their fault” rather than facing the endemic faults within the team that have plagued it for so long.

          1. I think the problem for most people was that williams went with stroll and sirotkin purely for money reasons and then williams tried to spin it into some kind of weird performance lie. If williams had given any meaning at all to driver performance their first choice would have been massa. Not stroll and sirotkin. The bad season in 2018 was direct result of that. The car is better than the results show. But williams did not want results. They wanted money and that is exactly what they got.

            It was of course sad that two mediocre-at-best pay drivers got the drives instead of kubica. But misrepresenting other people’s ideas doesn’t disprove them, anon. The purest fact is that massa did not drive for williams in 2018 and that is also the clearest fact that williams did not choose drivers based on on-track performance. All they wanted was money. In that process kubica got shafted. Was it unfair? It was f1 and f1 is always unfair. If the team wants drivers with money then they choose drivers who bring the most amount of money. Kubica knew exactly what it was.

            It is impossible to resist hiring driver like stroll if you are williams though. I would have hired stroll with the huge amount of money he brings. Who doesn’t want a driver like stroll that is almost average in f1 terms and brings as much money as he does? But I would have put massa in the other car and I would have not pretended to choose drivers based on performance (lied) if I had put sirotkin and stroll in the cars. Everybody knows what the situation is with those two. Trying to spin it with blatant lies only made williams look dishonest. Whether kubica deserves it or has “a right” to a seat is just your typical spin to create an universe where your weak arguments make any sense at all.

      3. Why? He did a better job than stroll. And stroll is being promoted. That is reason enough to be frustrated. Not to mention Williams sacking him and throwing these wonderful PR stunts around two talents they don’t deserve. The car is still crap. Quite frankly the only thing Williams has going for them is that they are an f1 team, and they are many drivers who just want to get in F1 by any means.

    2. I actually kind of like this Sirotkin guy. He’s a straight shooter with a good attitude and temperament. He’s had a decent rookie season and showcased far more pace and talent than his prima dona baby billionaire teammate. Would much rather have Sirotkin on the grid than his clown teammate.

      1. His clown teammate beat him this year… And I say this despite thinking that Stroll is crap.

    3. A very decent human being. Pity he got in that Williams.
      Kubica called the car a disaster and it showed. Seems very professional in how he goes about his weekend.

    4. No, it was because when you work hard teaching judo after school you usually can’t save enough to buy all the Bank branches in your province.

    5. Is he a Judo trainer? Nice.

      He had no chance to show and skill, hard to judge this one but drove such a crap car!

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