Sergey Sirotkin: Williams’ 2019 plans ‘a big step ahead’
Sergey Sirotkin believes Williams can avoid a repeat of its 2018 malaise next season, with its year-on-year preparation ahead of the corresponding situation from 2017.
Williams finished third across 2014 and 2015 before slipping to fifth in the standings through 2016/2017 and adopted an overhauled design concept for this season.
But its FW41 proved recalcitrant and it initially struggled to understand the car, leaving it on the back foot, substantially adrift of its rivals in the Constructors’ Championship.
Sirotkin, yet to sign a deal for 2019, is nonetheless optimistic that this year has acted as a wake-up call to the team.
“I don’t want to be too optimistic, but it [2019 plans] looked already quite a big step better than the situation was exactly this time last year about the current car,” he said.
“Even in terms of the time-wise, let’s say, it is a step ahead, which is always good.
“So again I don’t want to say that we will be immediately back and everything will be 100 per cent as we want.
“But for sure it looks like we learned a big lesson and did a good improvement based on the work we did so far this year.”
Sirotkin added that a different mindset will also enhance Williams’ prospects going forward.
“I think it’s based on fundamental understanding, let’s say, on the process to build the car, it started from there,” he said.
“That’s why it took us so long to understand it properly and get over it.
“I think now we learned many lessons about the very, very basics of all the procedure from zero to the end and I think the way we approach it with the new car is going to be already with quite a different process, [a different] system.
“So we can avoid the issues we finally found this year and obviously get more performance from it.”