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'Sirotkin makes play to switch F1 teams'

'Sirotkin makes play to switch F1 teams'

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'Sirotkin makes play to switch F1 teams'

'Sirotkin makes play to switch F1 teams'

Sergey Sirotkin has emerged as a contender to take the remaining seat at Toro Rosso, beside fellow Russian Daniil Kvyat, according to reports in Germany. Auto Motor und Sport has claimed that the Williams driver's representatives met with Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko at the Russian Grand Prix to discuss a move.

Sirotkin was a surprise hire at Williams for 2018 as the team sought a replacement for Felipe Massa.

Paul Di Resta and Robert Kubica had been tipped as candidates for the seat, with decent F1 experience behind the pair, however it was reported that a sponsorship package worth almost $10million swung things in Sirotkin's favour.

Williams are already likely to lose a chunk of cash when Lance Stroll departs for Force India, while title sponsor Martini is also ending its relationship with the team at the end of the year.

If Sirotkin does join Kvyat at Toro Rosso, it could open the door for another Russian to join F1, with Artem Markelov chasing a seat.

Like Sirotkin, F2 veteran Markelov comes heavily backed, although the matter has been complicated this week after his father was reportedly arrested in Russia on suspicions of corruption.

Valery Markelov is co-founder of Lengiprotrans, the largest contractor of Russian Railways, who have ben under investigation since 2016.

Kubica remains a contender for Williams' likely other remaining seat, although their ties to Mercedes has seen pressure for either Esteban Ocon or Formula 2 standings leader George Russell to be given the chance.

According to Sky Sports, Williams will seek a discounted power unit deal from Mercedes if they are to take either of the Silver Arrows' juniors for 2019.

MORE: Kvyat the 'right choice' for Toro Rosso
MORE: Hamilton wants Sochi completely changed

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