Sergey Sirotkin says he is “almost living” at Williams’ factory as he prepares to contest his maiden Formula 1 season with the team in 2018.

The 22-year-old Russian has filled the seat vacated by Brazilian Felipe Massa, who retired from F1 for the second time at the end of 2017. Sirotkin, who finished third in GP2 in 2015 and 2016 and acted as Renault's reserve driver last year, was a late contender for the Williams seat but impressed during post-season testing at Abu Dhabi and landed the drive ahead of Robert Kubica in a move confirmed in January. 

He will partner Canadian Lance Stroll, 19, in what will mark the Grove-based outfit’s youngest-ever driver line-up in F1. Sirotkin, one of two rookies on the grid in 2018, explained his determination to prepare for the upcoming campaign in the best possible way.

“I feel really excited ahead of the season - I’ve spent a lot of time at the factory, I’m almost living there at the moment which has been great motivation for me and for all of the people around the factory,” he said. “It’s been a big enjoyment to start working properly with all the mechanics and engineers, and it’s going well. 

“I’ve been training hard and I’ve been in the simulator regularly, going through different set-ups with the car, different tracks, seat fittings and also a lot of engineering meetings and factory tours to meet everyone. I’ve been having fun with all the guys from different departments. It’s busy times, but I am really enjoying it. I’m getting ready for the season in the best possible way.”

Sirotkin will become the third F1 driver from Russia - following Vitaly Petrov and Daniil Kvyat - when he takes to the track at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix next month. 

 

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