Kubica says that his Williams car felt “strange” on race day at Suzuka, and suggested that his car had changed considerably from the one he drove in free practice on Friday.
The Pole has endured a challenging return to F1 this season after an eight-year absence and has so far been out-qualified 17-0 by his rookie teammate George Russell.
After announcing at the recent Singapore Grand Prix that he would leave Williams at the end of the season, Kubica was then reportedly unhappy with his team’s decision to retire his car at the following race in Russia, a move that prompted Kubcica’s sponsor PKN Orlen to demand an explanation from the team.
Now, after crashing in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix and finishing 30s adrift of Russell in the race, Kubica believes something had been changed on his car and suggested the decision had not been made by “people who are here”.
“I think [the accident in qualifying] was [due to] a lack of enough attention on the last corner opening up the lap, but anyway, things were a bit strange before getting me in the car, I really didn’t like it,” said Kubica.
“I was hoping after the disappointment in Russia [when Williams opted to retire his car] we would be here trying to do our best, and this was what we tried to do on Friday.”
Kubica felt his pace during Friday practice - when he was 0.1s quicker than Russell in FP2 - gave him cause for optimism but that same feeling was not present when he left the garage on Sunday morning.
“Actually, on Friday I ended up with quite good feelings but my feelings were probably too good,” said Kubica.
“Conditions were different [on Sunday] but Friday gave me quite a lot of confidence in the car, we agree on something and then on Sunday morning things change for whatever reason, I think it was not the decision of people who are here.
“I don’t want to go into the details but I think after Russia where [Williams performance was disappointing] and when you have a driver who says for the [first time in a long time] that I can drive the car properly and I am exploring car, this is what [you’d expect the team] will look to have, but for whatever reason…”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing