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Kubica's willingness for reserve role was key to full-time seat

  • Published on 01 Dec 2018 12:47
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Williams' deputy team principal Claire Williams says that Robert Kubica's decision to settle for a reserve role in 2018 was the key factor in deciding to promote him to the full-time seat for the 2019 season.

The team confirmed in Abu Dhabi that the Pole would replace Sergey Sirotkein next year. Kubica lost out on the 2018 drive alongside Lance Stroll to Sirotkin, with both men taking part in tests during the winter break last year so the Grove squad could analyse them both.

Kubica was offered the role of its reserve and drove the car on a number of occasions throughout the year. The 33-year-old will make his remarkable comeback next season, and take part in his first Grand Prix since 2010 in Melbourne next March.

"One of the things that impresses me most about Robert is the fact we didn’t give him the race seat for this year, yet he still took on the role of reserve driver and I think that says a lot about his personality,” Williams said.

“The very fact he has had the time he has had this year, working with the team behind the scenes, has given him invaluable experience to step up into that race seat for next year. He knows everybody in the team, he gets on well with everyone in the team, he is dedicated, he spends a lot of time back in the factory in order to help drive our performance.

“Now he’s absolutely ready. We undertook that evaluation process and he came out on top of the pile, and for us next year, it was always a question of making sure we secured the best talent rather than any other factors.”

The Grove squad struggled throughout the 2018 season, and ended the year at the bottom of the constructor's standings. According to Williams, Kubica played a big role in identifying the root of its issues and helping it overcome them.

"We have done a thorough analysis into what’s gone wrong this year,” Williams revealed. “Robert has played an instrumental part into the development of the FW41 and he is going to be a big part of helping us develop the FW42 and beyond that.

“He has an extraordinary understanding of engineering and is a real pusher as well, he helps drive the engineers in what they’re doing and he pushes me. He talks to me at 2AM in airport lounges around the world around what has gone wrong, what we need to be doing.”

Replies (8)

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  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    All this may be so, but I fear that he'll end up dead last in 2019 and subsequently dropped in 2020 for someone with bigger money bags, like Mazepin.

    • + 1
    • Dec 1 2018 - 17:20
    • Savio

      Posts: 145


      • + 0
      • Dec 1 2018 - 18:52
    • The sad story that is being a modern day Williams driver.

      • + 1
      • Dec 1 2018 - 18:53
    • Stitch

      Posts: 5,175

      They'll come back stronger this year I am sure. And if Kubica cannot do the job then no one can.

      • + 0
      • Dec 2 2018 - 09:32
  • Oh stfu already Claire. Most people are happy that Robert got signed, even if you only did it for money. Don't push it and try to insult the fans intelligence pretending this was about anything other than money.

    • + 1
    • Dec 2 2018 - 05:36
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    I have a more fundamental hang up over this - how will he cope in the wet, where every corner is hold on tight, opposite locks, extreme reactions needed - and this especially the case with a Williams like they had this year......there's quite a few races where we had rain this yr.....I hope Im wrong but I see him nr the back of the pack in '19.

    • + 0
    • Dec 2 2018 - 22:50
    • Niids

      Posts: 43

      are You kidding? After his accident, this guy won WRC2 championship in his first season. He was able to compete in his silly private rally car with top WRC producers&drivers who lost their theeths on rallying. He ociasionally even won few stages, almost sign with Citroen... I recommend You to check his onboards to verify your concerns about his reactions ability.

      • + 0
      • Dec 3 2018 - 09:45

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