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Russian racer signs contract with Williams for 2018 Formula One season

Sergey Sirotkin is the third Russian driver to enter the world of F1 racing

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Williams announced on Tuesday that it signed up Russian racer Sergey Sirotkin to race for the team in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The 22-year-old Russian will partner Canada’s Lance Stroll in Team Williams, which signed the contract with Sirotkin for the upcoming season only.

"To say I’m happy and proud to join such a famous team like Williams is an understatement," Sirotkin was quoted as saying by the team’s statement on Tuesday. "It took a huge amount of work to get where I am, and I’m really happy and thankful to everyone involved."

"The result of our combined efforts has helped me achieve my dream, and rest assured the team can rely on me to deliver my best," Sirotkin added.

Sirotkin is the third Russian driver to enter the world of F1 racing. The first Russian racer in Formula One was Vitaly Petrov, who made his debut in 2010. Another Russian driver, Daniil Kvyat, raced for teams Red Bull and Toro Rosso at different times between 2014 and 2017 and most recently signed a contract with Team Ferrari to become a development driver.

Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said she was glad that the team’s line-up for the 2018 F1 World Championship was finalized and is made up of two talented young drivers.

"We have taken our time to evaluate all the available options, and I’m confident Lance and Sergey can deliver the best results for the team," Claire Williams was quoted as saying in the statement. "The Williams philosophy has always been to promote and develop young talent and Sergey fits right into that ethos."

Sirotkin’s 19-year-old teammate from Canada said he was looking forward to work with the Russian racer.

"First of all I would like to welcome Sergey to Williams and I am looking forward to having him as my teammate," Lance Stroll, who debuted in F1 last year and finished the 2017 season 12th place, said. "I know Sergey and I am sure we will very quickly form a close working relationship."

The 2018 FIA Formula One Championship includes 21 races and begins with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 23-25. The final Grand Prix of the upcoming season will be held in Abu Dhabi on November 23-25.