Sergey Sirotkin says it would be naïve to target “something extraordinary” in his rookie Formula 1 campaign as he looks to build foundations at Williams in 2018.

The Russian driver secured the final 2018 F1 race seat by beating Robert Kubica to the Williams drive alongside Lance Stroll to become the second rookie on the grid for the upcoming season next to Alfa Romeo Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.

The former GP2 race winner says he’s aware of “exactly what the team needs” as the British squad looks to progress from fifth place in the F1 world constructors’ championship from last season but wants to temper expectations on his personal targets in his maiden campaign.

“I know where my level is, I know where my limitation is and I’m sure if I do my best it is exactly what the team needs and it is exactly what I want,” Sirotkin said. “Not to exaggerate, not to over impress or jump over my head or to do something extraordinary.

“I need to do the job I need to do and I know how to do. I believe it’s enough.”

After earlier opportunities at Sauber and Renault, many predicted Sirotkin’s F1 chances had already come and gone but the Russian says his faith in his ability to reach the top level of motorsport was unwavering despite the setbacks.

Having relished his initial test days in the Williams FW41 in the first pre-season test at Circuit de Catalunya, Sirotkin believes he’s preparing well for his rookie F1 season and has leant upon his previous F1 experiences.

“The more time you spend around [the team], the more days you do in the car, you get some experience and some knowledge and you get better overall,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t have been ready a year, or two years, or three years ago - I do believe I would have managed quite well. But obviously I have been improving since then.”

 

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