Boris Rotenberg, the billionaire backer supporting Sergey Sirotkin’s push for the Williams seat, is “trying to do everything” to get him on the 2018 grid.
The Renault development driver has emerged as a very late contender to be Lance Stroll’s team-mate next season but the added lure of more sponsorship money has reportedly seen Williams cool interest in Robert Kubica and favour the Russian instead.
Rotenberg, who is co-owner of the largest construction company of gas and power lines in Russia and also has ties with president Vladimir Putin, feels that Sirotkin deserves his place on the grid after impressing in the two-day post-season test in Abu Dhabi.
“I never like to talk in advance,” Rotenberg told the Russian press.
“It’s like football, when you only say you want to win the next game.
“We are all hoping and trying to do everything, but it depends not only on us. The main thing is that [Williams] understand us, but in any case Sergey deserves to go to Formula 1.
“He beat the competition, going faster than Kubica and at the level of [Lance] Stroll. So we now have the opportunity to put him into a car.”
Williams have delayed their driver announcement until January, with another Russian in Daniil Kvyat viewed as the back-up to the favourite Sirotkin.