Williams will not make a final decision regarding its 2018 Formula 1 line-up until the new year as it continues to mull over who will partner Lance Stroll next season.

Williams tested both Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin in Abu Dhabi at the end of last month in a two-day tyre test, evaluating both as candidates to replace the retired Felipe Massa.

Kubica had been the strong favourite for the seat as the Pole looked to return to F1 seven years after sustaining severe injuries to his right hand and arm in a rally accident that seemingly ended his single-seater career.

However, recent speculation suggests that Sirotkin has now emerged as the leading candidate for the seat, with Kubica falling out of contention due to concerns about his capabilities behind the wheel.

Williams had stressed it was not looking to rush into any decision regarding its line-up, given it holds the final vacant seat for 2018, and confirmed on Friday it would not be making any announcement until the new year.

Recently-dropped F1 drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Daniil Kvyat have also been linked with the seat, but it is Sirotkin who leads the chase, aided by his financial backing from Russia's state-supported motorsport group, SMP Racing.

LMP1 An Option For Kubica

The story surrounding Kubica's push to return to full-time racing has captured the imagination of the motorsport world through 2017, with reaching this point at all marking a considerable achievement.

While he may not get the chance to realise his dream of an F1 comeback if Williams signs Sirotkin, Crash.net understands Kubica has an option for a full-season race seat in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 'super season' with an incoming privateer team.

Kubica is interested in the series and sports car racing, having initially signed to race for ByKolles in LMP1 for 2017, only to quit on the eve of the new season as the team was only able to complete six laps ahead of the opening round at Silverstone in April.

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The longer the decision is with held the more it favours SS. Money talks so unless RK blew SS away at the recent test then SS would be favourite. How does the ability of a driver to help guide develop the car come into it or is that not important anymore?

It seems Williams is auctioning the seat, it will go to the highest bidder. Rumours they are considering selling Kubica first 7 races for £7m with the rest going to SS. Better this than nothing. Will SS pay thou? I read there were problems with his payments in Sauber and didnt materialize when he was supposed to drive for FI. 

Williams is giving Kubica, Sirotkin and Kyvat a couple more weeks to come up with some more cash. Shameless.

Sirotkin. Anyone else would be a step back for Williams.

 

The chance for Kubica decreases in last days unfortunatelly. Money pays... For sport Kubica is a better spot, its a fairytale at the end. Robert had a much much better technical background and is more sensible to give right feedback than other drivers -> if he not get the seat he could get a chance as a test driver in a top team maybe. 

Pathetic! Just as McLaren when they couldn't decide between Magnussen and Button at the end of 2014.