Williams has announced Sergey Sirotkin will make his Formula 1 debut with the team this season, partnering Lance Stroll.
Robert Kubica was the early favourite to get the seat vacated by Felipe Massa, but dropped out of the running following Siroktin’s impressive showing at the end-of-season Pirelli test at Abu Dhabi.
Williams said throughout the process that its driver decision would be based purely on performance and it is believed Sirotkin was clearly the quickest at Yas Marina.
Motorsport.com understands the Russian has joined on a multi-year deal.
It took several weeks to iron out the contract details with Sirotkin, who is believed to bring a financial package worth round £15million, and his team.
But a deal was reached and Williams staff were informed of the decision and the reasoning behind it at the factory on Wednesday morning ahead of the official announcement.