Friday 9 November at 03:35 : Nov.9 (GMM) The departure of Robert Smedley will not overly hurt Williams.

That is the view of Sergey Sirotkin, the British team’s Russian driver who says he is not sure if he is staying for 2019.

“I think every driver will always say he deserves another year,” he said in Brazil.

“Hopefully I will get some information soon.”

Also in Brazil, Sirotkin’s teammate Lance Stroll – who is heading to Force India – said 2018 with Williams has been “surviving rather than actually competing”.

And that surviving could be even harder in 2019, especially with experienced senior engineer and manager Smedley deciding to quit.

“He is a great man and a leader of the team,” Sirotkin said. “He played a big role in what was happening in Williams and I will miss working with him.

“I have talked after he announced his departure and I understand his decision. Sometimes in formula one these things are hard so I fully respect his decision and I wish him a good rest.

“But I do not think him leaving will lead to serious changes in the team,” the Russian insisted.