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.