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F1: Williams signs former Renault test driver Sergey Sirotkin to team with Stroll

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Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin was named Tuesday as the second driver for Williams Racing in Formula One.

The 22-year-old Sirotkin will be teamed with 19-year-old teammate Lance Stroll, giving Williams one of the youngest and least-experienced teams on the F1 grid heading into the 2018 season.

Sirotkin comes to Williams after serving as a test driver for Sauber in 2014 and Renault in 2016 and 2017.

Sirotkin replaces Felipe Massa in the Williams’ ride. Sirotkin becomes the third Russian to compete in F1 after Vitaly Petrov and Daniil Kvyat.

Sirotkin has had a long working relationship with Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg, a close friend and former judo workout partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s unclear if Rotenberg will bring financing to the Williams’ effort to support Sirotkin.

The first F1 race is the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 25.

WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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