Date: 18th February 2018 at 10:05am
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Don’t tell Williams that their driver line-up is inexperienced and that they have merely gone for pay drivers.

Lance Stroll will be partnered by Sergey Sirotkin at Williams in 2018 following the retirement of Felipe Massa.

When Lance Stroll was announced as a Williams driver in 2016, there was plenty of discussion surrounding pay drivers and over the course of this winter, there have been reports that Sirotkin brings $15million to the team in sponsorship money.

A young and inexperienced line-up could be seen as a point of concern for the team and the drivers, especially following such a change of dynamic in the team with the departure of one of the most experienced drivers on the grid.

The 2017 Formula One World Championship proved to be the Williams teams worst season for a number of years.

The combination of Lance Stroll and Massa accumulated just 83 points with a best finish of third at the bizarre Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Whilst Williams did maintain their fifth place finish in the Formula One constructors championship, it was a backward step in comparison to recent seasons.

In fact it has been four consecutive seasons of their points tally diminishing.

Without an experienced head in the cockpit, it’s difficult to see how that run will not extend to a fifth season.

‘Everybody knows that winning for Williams is all about the Constructors’ Championship. I look at these two drivers and think they have a huge amount of potential in Formula 1.

‘We don’t make these decisions lightly.’
Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams told Sky Sports.

Williams Technical director Paddy Lowe distanced the line-up from the reported sponsorship money they bring: ‘The selection process we used was incredibly exhaustive – the most exhaustive I’ve ever been involved in involving the technical team. Sergey was selected simply on the merit of his driving. That team know nothing about finances, they are not involved in it, and they made the call themselves.’