Sergey Sirotkin: Probably let F1 goal “slip away forever”

01-02-2020 17:14
by Bevan Youl
F1 News
Sergey Sirotkin: Probably let F1 goal “slip away forever”

Former Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin has said that the realisation has become “more painful” that his Formula 1 goal may “slip away forever” after being off the grid the past season.

Sirotkin was brought into Williams for 2018 to partner Lance Stroll, where the team endured one of its worst seasons at the back of the grid.
 
Despite picking up a sole point at the Italian Grand Prix the Russian was replaced by Robert Kubica for 2019, with the team going on to have an even worse year, claiming just one point.
 
But the 24-year old feels that it has become more painful to have lost his seat in the sport.

"I'd say it's become maybe even more painful," Sirotkin told Autosport.

"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."

Sirotkin became reserve driver for Renault and McLaren for 2019, but initially felt that being at a race but not taking part would be hard to do.

"In the beginning I thought it would be [harder],” he added. “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."

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