WILLIAMS have confirmed Sergey Sirotkin as their new driver for the 2018 Formula 1 season.

The 22-year-old becomes Lance Stroll's teammate at the Grove-based team following Felipe Massa's retirement from the sport.

Robert Kubica, who tested for Williams last year, has been named as the reserve and development driver, seven years after sustaining a serious arm injury in a rallying accident.

Sirotkin impressed during a tyre test in Abu Dhabi and will make his debut at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 25.

The Russian, who finished third in the GP2 championship in 2015 and 2016, as well as being Enstone-based Renault's test driver for the past two years, is looking forward to the challenge.

He said: "To say I’m happy and proud to join such a famous team like Williams is an understatement.

"It took a huge amount of work to get where I am, and I’m really happy and thankful to everyone involved.

"The result of our combined efforts has helped me achieve my dream, and rest assured the team can rely on me to deliver my best.”

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “After an extensive driver evaluation process, I am thrilled to have our 2018 line-up finalised, and I’m excited to see what next season brings.

"We have taken our time to evaluate all the available options, and I’m confident Lance and Sergey can deliver the best results for the team."

Kubica, who previously drove for BMW Sauber and Renault, suffered severe injuries to his arm at the first stage of the Ronde di Andora rally in 2011.

But the 33-year-old will play an active role for Williams in 2018, participating in testing as well as a number of practice sessions throughout the season.

The Pole said: “I’m extremely happy to be joining the Williams team as its official reserve and development driver this season.

“I feel in the best physical shape that I have ever been, but it has taken a lot of work to get to where I am now, so I’d like to thank Williams for the opportunities they have given me so far, and for putting their faith in me with this appointment.

“My ultimate goal remains to race again in Formula 1 and this is another important step in that direction. I cannot wait to get started.”