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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