Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin has said that he has ignored claims that he is just a pay driver. By definition, a pay driver is a driver who has used financial connections to secure a racing seat at a particular team. Now, many critics had labelled the Russian as a pay driver as they believed that his sponsors played a major role in his getting the seat at Williams. Naturally, no driver likes to be branded as a talentless driver who relied on sponsorship to earn a racing seat. So an annoyed Sirotkin hit back at the critics and questioned where the media obtained their information from.
After Felipe Massa’s official retirement, Sirotkin was named as the driver to line-up alongside Lance Stroll for the 2018 season after a lengthy search. The Russian penned a ‘multi-year’ contract with the team, but critics questioned Williams’ motives. The doubts began to form after they learned that SMP bank was backing Sirotkin. According to their sources, a figure of around £15million helped him seal the deal ahead of Robert Kubica.
However, Sirotkin was less than impressed about what is being said about him. He said, “I do not pay attention to names like ‘pay driver’. People write things but where do they get the information from? If you know something and can confirm it with facts, then please do.”
Sirotkin also spoke about Formula 1’s decision to ban grid girls ahead of the upcoming season. The Russian said, “When you sit on the grid, you’re not thinking about the girls. If I had not been told about this news then I would not have even noticed. I can understand the position of both the opponents and the supporters of this decision. But I look at it from the professional point of view that it does not affect the drivers in any way,”