So Williams has finally announced the second driver who’ll race alongside Lance Stroll. Ever since last year’s Abu Dhabi post-season test, the speculation grew stronger and stronger in favour of Sergey Sirotkin. The Russian ended Robert Kubica’s fairytale return to Formula One
In the year when Hamilton was busy duelling Massa for the World Championship, Sergey Sirotkin began his karting career. Born to Russian financer Oleg Sirotkin, Sergey Olegovich Sirotkin was born on 27th August 1995. By 2010 the Russian had graduated to highest Karting series like KF3 and KF2.
Sergey Sirotkin won the European classification in a dominant fashion. He lifted the title with a race to spare. Over at the Italian Classification, he finished an impressive runner-up.
The Russian moved up the ladder to Auto GP World Series in 2012. The Auto GP World series is the same championship which Romain Grosjean won in 2010. Sergey Sirotkin’s connection with Romain doesn’t end here as he broke the Frenchman’s record in his rookie year. Sirotkin posted 4 consecutive fastest laps in the first 4 rounds to beat the record held by Grosjean. The Russian took victory in what was his only 2nd race to become the youngest Auto GP World Series race winner. He ended the year 3rd in the championship standings.
But for God knows what reason, Sergey Sirotkin decided to make 2012 the busiest year for himself. Along with Auto GP, the Russian contested Italian Formula Three championship and a single Formula Renault 3.5 race outing. In Italian Formula 3, the now 15-year old showed class. He took 2 wins and 4 podiums in what was his rookie season to finish 5th overall.
In 2013 he graduated full time to Formula Renault 3.5. The 2013 edition of the series
But 2013 wasn’t too shabby a year for him. Instead, he took several steps closer to his dream of racing in Formula One.
You see in 2013 an investment consortium decided to open up route for Russian Drivers to enter into F1. The Sauber team, running neck deep in financial struggles, signed up a new partnership. Russian firms Investment Corporation International Fund, the State Fund of Development of Northwest Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies stuck a deal with Sauber. As part of the deal, 17-year-old Sirotkin was placed onto a development programme with a hope that it will lead to him racing in F1 in the future. How did the Russian land up in the center of such a lucrative deal? Well, his father heads up the National Institute of Aviation Technologies, so…
While this was going on, over at Formula One, Sirotkin took part in Young Driver test and gained a Superlicence. In the inaugural Russian Grand Prix, he took part in FP1 and posted a time only four tenths slower than Adrian Sutil. This was a good showing by the Russian I must admit. But he failed to get the race seat for 2015. The ownership changed hands at Sauber and Ericsson and Nasr got the seat.
His Formula One dreams had crashed but single seater progress continued. In 2015, he
In 2016, his fortunes were revived. Sergey was announced as Renault’s development driver. He once again partook in FP1 session at the Russian Grand Prix. Over at GP2, he switched to field-leading ART Grand Prix team for the 2016 season. He had a really good season in 2016. The Russian scored 3 poles in the season including in Monaco. He finished the season with 6 podiums and 2 wins to his name, ending once again P3 in the standings.
2017 was a mixed bag of a year for him. He continued his test driver role at Renault but decided against competing in F2 for a third year. Instead, he raced in 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP2 category. But by the end of year the post-season tyre test in Abu Dhabi completely flipped his fortunes.
On the back of a really strong performance in the test, along with sponsor money reportedly to the tune of $ 15 million, Sergey Sirotkin has sealed the deal. Kubica on the other has been confirmed as Williams’ Reserve driver.