Williams' 2019 driver Robert Kubica says that the team should have listened to its drivers early on in the 2018 season to avoid ending up where it did. Williams concluded the year at the bottom of the standngs, picking up just seven points.
Kubica spent the year as its reserve and development driver, while Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin handled racing duties. The team had issues with its aerodynamic package, which led to the departure of a couple of key figures at the team.
But ahead of his full-time come-back, Kubica believes that the team should have taken on more driver feedback in 2018: “We really thought we had a good car according to data from the simulator and the various departments,” Kubica told Auto Motor und Sport.
“Maybe they should have listened to the drivers and reacted faster. I don’t build the car but sometimes the driver becomes aware of a problem earlier than the best engineer in the world.
“At the beginning of the season we still had correlation problems. In the end these deviations between tools and reality led to the misjudgment with the car. Nevertheless, we made good progress in the second half of the season, especially in the simulator.”
Kubica added that the team kept discovering more issues, and failed to recover and keep up in the development race, causing it to plummet further down the pecking order: "We improved the car, but in the course of the development work we also discovered some other weak spots that had nothing to do with the lap times.
"From our position, it was really difficult to close the gap," he added. The others also continued to develop. Sauber were behind us at the start of the season but they had an incredible pace of development, eventually making it into the midfield.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing