After Williams announced no final decision would be made on its driver line-up until the new year, it appears Robert Kubica has fallen back in the running with Sergey Sirotkin becoming the favourite.

Williams tested both drivers at the post-season Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi at the end of last month to take up the retiring Felipe Massa’s race seat at the British squad alongside Lance Stroll. Kubica was the initial odds-on choice to stage a remarkable F1 comeback after seven years away when he suffered severe right forearm injuries in a rallying accident.

But recent speculation from Williams is the Polish driver’s lap times and performance was not up to the standard required while Sirotkin impressed the squad in Abu Dhabi on his test debut for the team.

Williams has confirmed it isn’t in any huge rush to make a final call, and that the decision would be made on performance rather than financial packages, with Sirotkin backed by money-clad Boris Rotenberg and state-supported SMP Racing.

As a result, Kubica’s fairytale return to F1 looks unlikely but with no official decision made by Williams the former Grand Prix winner’s hopes remain alive. Ex-Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat, Mercedes-backed Pascal Wehrlein and Williams reserve driver Paul di Resta are also considered to be in the running albeit as outside shots. Questions also remain over its Martini sponsorship and requiring a driver over the age of 25, which favourite Sirotkin wouldn’t meet but Kubica would.

Who would be the best fit for Williams to replace Massa at the team alongside Stroll for 2018? Crash will be running Forum debates every day during the winter in preparation for the 2018 season debating a range of topics and issues – but you can submit your own ideas here.


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Money is the main consideration despite what Williams will tell you, they don't have too much of a choice, several never has beens and never will be's plus Kubica who was world class. No top line drivers are available to them and if they were it is unlikely they would want to drive for Williams who having made something of a comeback are now gradually sinking to the back of the grid. I don't have a favourtie but Kvyat has pace and expeirience and possibly some money and maybe Williams are the team to sort him out.

There is not much point debating who should drive for Williams as they will take whoever pays the most. There is a division in F1, teams that pay their drivers (Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, RB), teams that have one pay/sponsored driver (FI, Renault) and then junior/commercial teams  (Sauber, TR and now Williams). Still hope Kubica would get a chance to race in 2018 in Williams, if that goes well he could try for a seat in another team.

Felipe Massa

It would be great if the FIA paid the teams soley on results. That way rich kids would be less likely to get a seat and talented drivers would have a crack. Mind you, 7 mil which SS is reportedly bringing, buys a lot of engineers and money for spare parts which might result in faster car than a talented driver alone.

Why would anyone really WANT to drive for them, considering the way they've treated Paul Di Resta? He's been a loyal back-up driver and has bailed them out in their hour of need...., only to be dumped now. Shame Williams, SHAME.

Robert Kubica is the obvious choice. Assuming Paddy produces a decent car Robert will bring home points and with them prize money. Williams should not get involved with dodgy Russian pmoney and it is very dodgy. No Russian billionaire got where he is helping old ladies cross the road. I worked there for years and it was like the Wild West. Murders two a penny. Frank keep your nose clean stay away from Russian oligarchs. It will only bring tears. Robert Kubica is a world class driver and almost certainly, the people’s choice. Common Frank. You know I’m right.