Former Williams F1 driver Sergey Sirotkin has signed a deal to race in the World Endurance Championship for the remainder of the current season.
The young Russian driver wasn’t able to hold onto an F1 seat for 2019, with Williams instead choosing Mercedes young driver George Russell to partner up with the returning Robert Kubica, who was Williams’ reserve driver in 2018.
Sirotkin’s backers Russian racing outfit SMP Racing outlined their unhappiness with Williams’ level of competitiveness, but said that they were going to continue their backing of him. True to their word, they have since managed to secure him an Audi DTM test in Jerez, as well as a Formula E test with Mahindra in Marrakesh.
Returning to racing, Sirotkin will race with SMP Racing for the remainder of the current World Endurance Championship Super Season. This means it’s the final three rounds of the championship, starting with the 1000 Miles of Sebring in March, the 6 Hours of Spa in May before the season closer at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
According to the entry list for the Sebring race, Sirotkin will drive one of SMP’s LMP1 cars alongside Stephane Sarrazin & Egor Orudzhev.
The other car listed on the Sebring entry includes Mikhail Aleshin & Vitaly Petrov, but no confirmed third driver as of yet. Jenson Button, who has raced with SMP through the Super Season, is unavailable but the team could call upon Egor Orujev, Matevos Isaakyan or Stephane Sarrazin from their driver pool to fill the gap.
“I am very glad that I have the honour of defending the colours of the Russian flag on the Russian prototype as part of the Russian SMP Racing team in the World Endurance Championship.” said Sirotkin.
“We have outstanding line-ups and excellent cars, with which, I am sure, we will be able to fight for the win, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
Sirotkin has expressed a desire to return to F1, saying he has set it as a ‘medium-term’ goal for himself.
Рад объявить, что в этом году я буду выступать за команду @SMP_Racing в @FIAWEC! До встречи в Себринге!
I am glad to announce that this year I will be racing for @SMP_Racing in the @FIAWEC! See you in Sebring!#SMPRacing #WEC #1000MSebring #6HSpa #24hLeMans pic.twitter.com/sI3nxUwkqz
— Sirotkin Sergey (@sirotkin_sergey) January 29, 2019