Sergey Sirotkin knows he couldn't show his full potential in debut F1 season
Sergey Sirotkin is happy with how his debut season in F1 went despite the shortcomings with Williams but also believes he has more to show.
It wasn't a straightforward signing for Sirotkin with Williams as the Russian had to fight against Robert Kubica for the seat in 2018 alongside Lance Stroll. It went in Sirotkin's favour as he made his debut after years of hard work in junior categories.
While there was the excitement of his first year in F1, it soon turned sour when he found out that the car Williams built wasn't competitive enough and they had to spend more time at the back of the field rather than fight in the midfield.
It was hard work all around but Sirotkin showed lot of heart and was rewarded in Italian GP when a disqualification to Romain Grosjean helped him score his first and only point in F1 - in fact, it ended up being a record as it was the first time that every driver scored in a year.
When asked by me/FormulaRapida.net as to how he assess his season, the Russian reflected with positive comments but as it is with any driver, he certainly believes that he has more in his kitty than what he could achieve in all of 2018.
"I think I can be quite happy with what I did to be honest," he said. "For sure, there are certain things I could have been better at, for sure there are certain things where I was unlucky which was a bit of out of my control, so few things on top of each other.
"For sure there are certain points where the results could have been better but coming back to reality again, you are not always the luckiest guy. You cannot know all the things in advance. I think I can be very happy with what it is.
"I think I am leaving here with a clear objective in my head that I have something that I could not show yet for obvious reasons. I do have this strong confidence inside myself, so hopefully one day you won't need to ask me this as it will be very visible on my results.
"Believe me I will do more than ever and everyone else to grab the chance back. In my position, every driver will say yes [that he performed better than his teammate]. For sure, I will say yes but I am not the best guy to talk about.
"I should probably get someone to tell me on my behalf. I am not a bad judge for myself since you should always push yourself higher than anyone else. I still think I could do certain things better.
"Same time I also think it's been hard but it has been visible how I performed compared to anyone else." In a difficult year like 2018, any race result outside the Top 10 is more or less termed as a tough run or maximum as an average performance.
However, Sirotkin feels otherwise as he thinks the results did not reflect the actual performance of the driver as the Russian concurred to what his teammate Stroll said regarding his own improvements in 2018 from 2017.
"It is difficult to choose but my performance in Monaco was great," he said. "I'm quite sure there must be many other places where I have been more than happy than where I have been. Sometimes it's probably been even opposite from how you've seen in the TV.
"Sometimes, it's been the same. I would say realistically when you look at the season and when you know where you are, where your basics is because many people always say 'I had a bad race' and so on but that's not a bad race. That's realistic.
"Then if you look at the things like this, we did whatever it is. It was bad sure but that is the reality. And if we do better than this which is still a bad race, it tuns around like a good race. It's been so many occasions when it was like that.
"Like I've said before, I honestly believe we did a good job this year considering all the situations how tough it was." With no race seat in 2019, the Russian was downbeat about the situation where his main backer SMP Racing wanted to move out.
As a racing driver, it was natural for Sirotkin to continue racing irrespective of how the car was behaving and performing but things were not under his control when the decision was made which allowed Kubica to make his fairytale return.
So far, it remains to be seen what Sirotkin does in 2019. He tested with Audi in DTM but won't be racing in the series. He is set to test for Mahindra in Formula E in Marrakesh while he is also in-line to drive for SMP Racing in WEC.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]