Sirotkin: F1 exit more painful now than before

Ex-Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin says he's found it hard to accept his Formula 1 dream is probably gone "forever", and reckons the loss of his seat is "more painful" now than it was initially.

Sirotkin: F1 exit more painful now than before

Sirotkin was drafted into the Williams roster alongside Lance Stroll for 2018, but was replaced by Robert Kubica for the following year.

Despite Williams' backmarker status, Sirotkin had admitted then the loss of the seat had hit him quite hard - and though the Grove-based team had an even worse campaign in 2019, it made the situation no easier for its former driver.

"I'd say it's become maybe even more painful," Sirotkin told Motorsport.com at the launch of his and SMP Racing's karting academy in Moscow.

"Because at that point of course Williams wasn't the most competitive, I knew that for the next year the situation probably wouldn't change dramatically. [We thought] that having this gap year we'd maybe have the chance to find a better option than trying to fight Robert for that seat.

"But now, having harboured some rather high hopes, high expectations, and even having had some initial agreements [in my first year in F1], and in the end you didn't achieve your target - having then lost a further year, you realise that to make it [back to the grid] for the following year will be even tougher.

"And like that you realise that you've probably let the goal slip away forever.

"And, to be honest, when you don't think about it it doesn't really hurt, but every day it happens that you're reminded about it, and it's really- I don't know, I'm not emotionless about it, it's not the least important thing in my life, so for me it's always been quite painful and will remain that way."

For PRME users:

Sirotkin agreed that to feel that way at 24 was "a characteristic of the sport," but added: "I'm very self-critical, and to realise at 23-24 that what you've worked towards all your life hasn't worked out, it's tough. It's really tough."

Sirotkin is yet to announce a 2020 programme, but plans to dovetail a race schedule with a coaching role at the karting academy - which he admits is a way of "expressing myself" away from the relentless world of grand prix racing.

After leaving Williams, he had been reserve driver for Renault and McLaren, and thus still spent much of the 2019 season in the paddock.

"In the beginning I thought it would be [harder]. I thought, when you're watching it from Moscow, you've already forgotten a bit what Formula 1 is like, you've distracted yourself and it's all okay.

"And then you're back in the paddock, everything is familiar, you're involved, but you don't have a car, you're not doing much, you're still watching the races on TV or on the computer, and at some point I thought this may be harder to accept.

"But then I missed one race due to a passport delay, and after that I realised that I do prefer to fly in, to remain in that system in one way or another, to remain in touch with the people I know, rather than watch it from home on the couch."

shares
comments
Leclerc the biggest talent without Red Bull deal - Marko
Previous article

Leclerc the biggest talent without Red Bull deal - Marko

Next article

Aitken steps down from Renault F1 test role

Aitken steps down from Renault F1 test role
Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Prime

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Prime

Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Prime

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far Prime

The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Prime

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures.

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022