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2018 F1

Sirotkin reveals his biggest problem with Williams’ 2018 car

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Sergey Sirotkin has given more details about his biggest problem with Williams’ 2018 car.

While the car is obviously uncompetitive, both the Russian driver and his teammate Lance Stroll have also complained about the seating position.

“A think a lot of time has passed now so no one will argue if I tell you,” Sirotkin told the Russian publication Drom.

“The seat was never perfect but the main problem was the seatbelts. After the start of the race, they relaxed and at some point if I didn’t fall out of the car it was good.”

It is a sad indictment of the once-great team, with Sirotkin further explaining that “Almost nothing we have planned or hoped for has worked out” in 2018.

Williams’ last champion, 1997 title winner Jacques Villeneuve, told a German publication that the team is effectively “dead”.

A spokeswoman told La Presse: “We will not comment on that.”

But insiders have scolded Williams’ current management team, led by Paddy Lowe and Claire Williams, and predicted the obvious necessity for change.

Claire Williams, who admits the 2018 car is “pretty horrible”, told the New York Times: “If anyone had told me last season that what we are going through now was coming, then I would have been horrified.

“We never saw it coming. It’s like experiencing grief.”

When asked about the need for change, she answered: “You are constantly looking at the team you have to ensure it operates as effectively and efficiently as it can, and that does sometimes involve some difficult decisions.”

Technical boss and shareholder Paddy Lowe, however, played down the need for structural change.

“I have some really great people around me,” he said. “There are some reinforcements needed, but we have the core of a really great team, so I think we are in a position to start turning in the right direction.”

For Williams, though, it’s more personal, having been entrusted with the health of the team by her father, founder Sir Frank Williams.

“Dad has really put his trust in me. I’m always worried he is going to tell me to go home, but he doesn’t,” she said.

Claire gave birth last October, but admits that plans to take time off in 2018 to spend time with her first child have been deferred.

“This year was supposed to be my time and to enjoy my little boy and husband, and I haven’t been able to do that,” she said.

“I’m going to give it a damn good go, but then winning isn’t easy. It takes a huge amount from within you to be successful, and at the moment I’m testing myself to see whether I have that within me.”

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