Thursday, 11 january 2018, 06:37 , by Matthew Scott
Williams have reportedly decided to opt for Sergey Sirotkin over Robert Kubica for their final seat for the 2018 Formula One season due to the Pole's inability to adapt to the new Pirelli tyres which were introduced at testing last year, according to Andrew Benson of the BBC.
This week, Sirotkin was confirmed as the partner for Lance Stroll at Williams for the upcoming campaign, with many F1 commentators criticising the decision as they believe it was due to the financial backing the Russian receives rather than his driving ability.
However, F1 reporter Benson insists it was due to issues Kubica had adapting to new Pirelli tyres.
"The main issue for Robert was primarily the speed on “qualifying” laps, during which the car has a small amount of fuel in the tank," Benson told Sportowefakty.wp.pl.
"Kubica, on all his runs using the tyres could not significantly improve performance.
"I also received information that the 33-year-old himself revealed to his manager his problems with adapting to the new tyres provided by Pirelli.
"There is nothing strange about this. Many regular F1 drivers complain about the revolutionary tires of the Italian company.
"For Kubica, however, the adaptation process can be a much more difficult challenge. Unlike the rest of the drivers, the Pole has not driven any of the last six seasons since Pirelli became F1’s partner.
"In the end, Williams management in Grove decided that Kubica couldn’t get the job done and that in their current situation there is no room for risk. Hence the choice of Sirotkin."