Wednesday 31 January at 07:35 :
Jan.31 (GMM) Paddy Lowe says Williams' 2018 driver lineup is an "investment" rather than a "gamble".
The British team has been criticised for choosing the well-sponsored Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin instead of Robert Kubica.
He will be paired with the regularly-criticised Lance Stroll, who is also often referred to as a 'pay driver'.
Their combined age is 41, making it easiest the youngest driver lineup on the F1 grid.
Defending the decision to sign Sirotkin, who is backed by the Russian banking billionaire Boris Rotenberg, Williams technical boss and shareholder Paddy Lowe said: "We chose him as the best driver available to us.
"We are sure that he will be very fast, consistent and calm in his work," Lowe told Russia's Sportbox.
As for whether Sirotkin-Stroll really is the best possible Williams driver combination, Lowe responded: "I would not compare it to gambling.
"We understand that there are some disadvantages, but at the same time we're making an investment.
"A young driver is an investment in a long-term future and a long-term success that can come to the driver and the team. We prefer to see a rising star in Sergey and hope to work with him for long-term and joint success," he added.