Williams-Mercedes

Perez eyes ‘maybe even a win’ in 2019

The team formerly known as Force India is targeting fourth place in the championship this year. The team formerly known as Force India is targeting fourth place in the championship this year. Although a highly competitive midfield runner, the Silverstone based team ran into financial problems last year and was taken over by billionaire Lawrence Stroll. And so for 2019, those money problems are over. “Anything less than fourth would be a huge disappointment to me. We’ve worked hard to put the difficult times behind us,” said boss Otmar Szafnauer. However, there has been early criticism of the new name — Racing Point. Alternatives including Lola and Brabham were investigated, but deals ultimately not done. “We considered the name for a while and came to the conc...

Williams could miss start of winter testing

Williams’ car might not be ready for the start of winter testing next week. Williams’ car might not be ready for the start of winter testing next week. On Tuesday, Renault ‘launched’ a newly liveried and modified version of its 2018 car, with boss Cyril Abiteboul saying the 2019 machine is still “in pieces”. Williams’ 2019 car might also be delayed, according to Polish media sources. Sport.pl, which is closely tracking Robert Kubica‘s return to F1, claims the dead-last-in-2018 British team might need to cancel a scheduled filming day on Saturday. The report quoted an FIA-accredited engineer as saying: “I do not have good news. “Williams is very late with the construction of the car.” Official winter testing begins in Barcelo...

Williams has ‘bright’ look for fresh start in 2019

Claire Williams wanted a “fresh” and “bright” new livery to mark an end to the British team’s horror period. Claire Williams wanted a “fresh” and “bright” new livery to mark an end to the British team’s horror period. Williams, a once-great name in F1, finished dead last in 2018 and lost the backing of title sponsor Martini. The team has a new sponsor for 2019, and Claire Williams said that was the perfect opportunity for a new livery. “Frank loved it, and you might be surprised to hear that,” she said as the new mainly white and sky blue livery was unveiled. “I was a little nervous presenting it to him but he is fully behind it. If he didn’t like it, he would have fired me,” Williams, team founder Si...

Sirotkin eyes Le Mans win

Sergey Sirotkin will keep his motor racing career alive at Le Mans. Sergey Sirotkin will keep his motor racing career alive at Le Mans. Having been dropped by Williams, the Russian’s backer SMP Racing announced that Sirotkin, 23, will contest Le Mans as well as two other forthcoming WEC events in the top LMP1 category. “I am very glad that I have the honour of defending the colours of the Russian flag on the Russian prototype as part of a Russian team in the world endurance championship,” he said. Sirotkin added that he is confident he can “fight for the win” at Le Mans, where Fernando Alonso will be racing for Toyota. Read Next: Mazepin to test 2017 Mercedes this year >

Sponsor to decide on Sirotkin’s F1 return – Aleshin

A return to formula one is a possibility for Sergey Sirotkin. A return to formula one is a possibility for Sergey Sirotkin. That is the view of Mikhail Aleshin, a senior driver for the Russian bank SMP’s motor sport programme. Fellow Russian Sirotkin made his F1 debut for Williams in 2018, but one year later he has lost his seat. But when asked by Sportbox if a return to F1 is possible for 23-year-old Sirotkin, Aleshin answered: “There is that opportunity. “The decision, naturally, will be made by the management of SMP Racing. “Objectively, Sergey has great potential, but it is clear that it cannot be realised if you go with a weak team. “Before the start of the season, no one thought Williams would be so bad. When that became clear, Sergey’s only task w...

Sirotkin eyes 2020 F1 return

Sergey Sirotkin says his aim is to return to formula one in 2020. Sergey Sirotkin says his aim is to return to formula one in 2020. The Russian has been replaced at Williams by Robert Kubica for 2019. Backed by SMP Bank, the 23-year-old is tipped to become a Ferrari development driver, but he told Tass news agency that he has no word yet. “Now we are trying to collect all the options, but I think there will be no specifics in the next two weeks,” Sirotkin said. “If there is something, then at best it will be after the New Year holidays.” He said losing his Williams seat was difficult, but he aims to make a return to the grid for 2020. “Certainly it was a difficult experience, but it made me stronger,” said Sirotkin. “I have a clear understanding th...

Sirotkin to test DTM, Hartley to Porsche

Sergey Sirotkin could keep his motor racing career alive in the German touring car series DTM. Sergey Sirotkin could keep his motor racing career alive in the German touring car series DTM. SMP Racing, his Russian sponsor, said the Williams refugee has been invited by Audi to test at the Jerez circuit on Wednesday. “The test is in the context of determining the options for his programme for his future performances in the coming season,” a statement issued by SMP Racing said, according to Tass news agency. Meanwhile, ousted Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley has been re-signed by Porsche, with whom the New Zealander earlier won Le Mans and the world endurance championship. He is tipped to be given a Formula E seat. Porsche racing boss Fritz Enzinger said the Formula E lineup will...

Sirotkin, Wehrlein eye Ferrari role for 2019

Two drivers may be eyeing Daniil Kvyat’s job at Ferrari for 2019. Two drivers may be eyeing Daniil Kvyat’s job at Ferrari for 2019. This year, Russian Kvyat was a Ferrari development driver, specifically heading the Italian team’s efforts in the simulator. Williams refugee Sergey Sirotkin admitted to Russia’s Championat that he may be interested in that role, now that Kvyat is returning to the grid with Toro Rosso. “Next week we will resolve this issue, especially if we set ourselves the goal of returning to formula one in 2020,” the Russian said. “That is potentially a very good place, because you embrace three teams at once — Haas, Sauber and Ferrari,” Sirotkin added. “It is a great option.” Robert Kubica also eyed the Fer...

Sirotkin sponsor wanted discount for 2019

Sergey Sirotkin should not be too disappointed that his F1 career is over. Sergey Sirotkin should not be too disappointed that his F1 career is over. That is the view of Mika Salo, a former F1 driver who has worked closely with the Russian this year as part of sponsor SMP Bank’s programme. Sirotkin has been replaced by Robert Kubica, who arrives with the sponsorship of the Polish oil company PKN Orlen. Negotiations between SMP and Williams, meanwhile, broke down. “It was pretty much up to Williams,” Salo told the Finnish broadcaster MTV. He said it was not clear that the once-great British team had the ability to pull itself off the very last row of the grid for 2019. “Of course we wanted to lower the price a bit and get an assurance that Williams will get better. W...

Ecclestone wants better race seat for Kubica

Bernie Ecclestone would have secured a better cockpit for Robert Kubica. Bernie Ecclestone would have secured a better cockpit for Robert Kubica. That is the claim of Marcin Czachorski, a former official spokesman for the Polish driver. Kubica, 33, is returning to the grid in 2019 after an eight year absence due to serious injuries sustained in a rally crash, including a nearly-severed hand. Former F1 supremo Ecclestone said recently that he wished Kubica had a better car to race next year. Williams finished dead last in 2018. “I think that if Bernie was still in charge, he would have found a competitive car for Robert,” Czachorski is quoted by sport.pl. “F1 would benefit more from that. But Robert has his own plan and knows the path to take. We just need to trust him a l...

Ocon eyes Williams, Force India roles for 2019

Esteban Ocon has admitted his role for 2019 could involve driving duties for as many as three F1 teams. Esteban Ocon has admitted his role for 2019 could involve driving duties for as many as three F1 teams. The Frenchman has lost his race seat at Force India, but it is strongly rumoured that he will be back on the grid in 2020, perhaps in Valtteri Bottas’ place at Mercedes. 22-year-old Ocon’s continuing support by Mercedes will mean he is not only reserve driver for the works team, but perhaps also for Force India and Williams. “Of course it’s always better to race than to not race,” he told France’s Auto Hebdo. “But I will have a lot of work anyway. “It seems I will have even more to do than before,” Ocon revealed. “I will go to...

Polish minister defends Kubica sponsorship

Poland has defended the financial investment into Robert Kubica’s return to formula one. Poland has defended the financial investment into Robert Kubica’s return to formula one. Just days after signing Kubica for 2019, Williams also announced that Polish oil company PKN Orlen is sponsoring the British team. Poland’s State Treasury is PKN Orlen’s leading shareholder with almost 28 per cent of the shares and votes. The move to sponsor Williams was defended by Polish sports minister Witold Banka, a former 400m sprinter. “Many companies have found that it is better to sponsor athletes directly than to give money to sponsoring sports associations,” he told Wilkowicz Sam na Sam. Grand prix winner Kubica, 33, is returning to F1 after an eight year absence due t...

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