Sergey Sirotkin's preparation for his Formula 1 debut later this month in Australia is being aided by his technical knowledge attained through an engineering degree he completed last year alongside his racing duties.

Sirotkin, 22, will race with Williams through 2018 after beating Robert Kubica to the full-time seat held by Felipe Massa last year, having impressed the team in private testing at the end of last year.

Sirotkin has been working hard to embed himself within Williams ahead of his F1 debut, impressing the team's technical boss, Paddy Lowe.

"Sergey is a very committed young man. He’s done a very solid apprenticeship in motor racing and come out of a great programme, SMP Racing," Lowe said.

"He’s the first product of that programme and very ready to make that step up into Formula 1. It's exciting to see what he will be able to do.

"He's a pleasure to work with, he’s got a fantastic work ethic and very mature for his age. He understands technical things very quickly so a very clever guy."

Sirotkin explained last week how he completed a degree in race car engineering over the last five years alongside his racing duties, having entered Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 between 2012 and 2016, and also raced at Le Mans last year for SMP Racing.

"The research work I did was basically the aspects where you take into account the setup work, the different weekends including different conditions and extra things on top of it, how you build up with a base with the certain conditions throughout the race weekend itself on the example of an F1 car," Sirotkin said.

"It’s quite directly dedicated to what we are doing here, so it was tough to do this, but at the same time it was useful and it was something I was always interested in and quite a good pleasure to go through and pass the steps.

"I did the degree for five years from the beginning to the end and I needed to do all the exams. Some things were easier and some things harder but it was quite a big stretch to pass it all.

"Last year I had quite a good amount of long-haul flights, which was a very useful time to maintain this part of the job. I completed the degree on the flight to Canada."

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