Motorsport Week  |    |   0  |  19 January 2018

Sergey Sirotkin requests 35 as permanent F1 race number

Williams youngster Sergey Sirotkin is set to use 35 as his official race number through his Formula 1 career, as he prepares to make his debut in 2018.

Sirotkin, who finished third in GP2 in both 2015 and 2016, spent two years in test and reserve roles with Renault, receiving practice runs, having previously held a similar position at Sauber in 2014.

With Renault having opted to recruit Carlos Sainz Jr. to partner Nico Hulkenberg, Sirotkin turned his attentions to Williams, and tested for the team during post-race tyre running in Abu Dhabi last November.

Williams gave Sirotkin the nod for the race seat vacated by the retired Felipe Massa for 2018 and the Russian will partner Lance Stroll this season.

Under regulations introduced in 2014, each driver selects a number between 2 and 99 to carry through their careers, with 1 reserved for the reigning champion and 17 retired in honour of the late Jules Bianchi.

Sirotkin has requested 35, though this has yet to be formally approved, with the number currently allocated to one of Force India’s test cars; George Russell carried it during practice in Brazil and Abu Dhabi last year.

The last time 35 was used in race trim was at the 1991 San Marino Grand Prix, where Eric van der Poele classified ninth for the Lamborghini-affiliated Modena team.

Sirotkin's fellow 2018 rookie, Sauber's Charles Leclerc, has selected 16 as his permanent number.

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