Rosberg: Kubica’s race dream is not over

Date published: January 19 2018

Despite only landing a reserve role with Williams, Robert Kubica’s dream of racing in Formula 1 is not yet over according to Nico Rosberg.

Last year Rosberg signed up as Kubica’s manager and played a role in helping the Polish driver land a reserve role for this year’s championship with Williams.

It wasn’t, however, what Kubica really wanted.

He had been chasing a race-seat with the team but that instead went to Sergey Sirotkin.

Rosberg, though, says the dream is not over.

“Robert will be able to do many kilometres,” he told  Auto Motor und Sport.

“For him, it’s a mega contract and definitely a step in the right direction.”

Renault ‘happy’ for Sirotkin, Kubica

Date published: January 18 2018

Williams may have signed Sergey Sirotkin and Robert Kubica but Renault are seeking a little pat on the back for their contribution toward their careers.

Williams completed the 2018 driver line-up when, earlier this week, that announced that former Renault test driver Sirotkin would race alongside Lance Stroll this season.

Aside from confirming the Russian rookie’s debut, the team also signed Kubica as their official reserve driver with the Polish driver having initially sought a comeback drive with Renault.

And Renault are happy with the part they played in getting both drivers to where they are today.

“If you think about the Williams situation we had some connection to the two possible options Robert and Sergey from 2017,” Renault MD Cyril Abiteboul told Crash.net.

“I’m happy to see drivers we had connections with and those that we contributed to raising their profile and raising their skills which has created opportunities to drive for another team.

“For Sergey, it shows Renault can influence the life of a driver and then if they can make it into Formula 1.

“I will be extremely happy because we were very impressed as a team by his ability to understand the car and the dynamics of the car as well as developing the car as it was his role with testing opportunities. He certainly has the knowledge and in my opinion also the talent.

“For Robert, I hope he finds a programme that is adequate with his ambitions and his abilities.”

Lowe: Kubica deserves congratulations

Date published: January 17 2018

Although Robert Kubica failed to land a Williams race-seat, Paddy Lowe says the Pole deserve congratulations for coming this far.

On Tuesday, Williams announced that Sergey Sirotkin would partner Lance Stroll this season, putting an end to months of speculation.

The Russian driver edged Kubica in the race for the final available seat for 2018 after impressing during the post-season Abu Dhabi test.

Williams, though, have signed Kubica as their reserve driver with Lowe adamant he will bring a lot to the team.

“First and foremost, we’d like to congratulate Robert on what he has achieved so far,” said the Williams technical chief.

“To overcome his injuries, return to fitness, and drive a Formula One car again is a remarkable achievement, and one that few considered possible.

“We anticipate Robert will make a strong technical contribution to the team, using his wealth of experience in track testing, simulator work, and support to the race drivers and engineers at every race.

“He is a driver I have admired for many years and I am personally very happy to be working with him towards our 2018 Championship.”

Kubica: A bit different role than racing

Date published: January 17 2018

It may not be the job he really wanted but Robert Kubica believes he can achieve “personal satisfaction and goals” in his new role as Williams’ reserve driver.

Earlier this week the Grove team announced that Kubica had not secured a race-seat for this year’s championship, instead signing Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin.

Kubica, though, was handed a role with the team as their official reserve and development driver.

Ultimately it is not what the Pole wanted, having made it clear that he wishes to return to full-time racing, however, he believes he can help Williams in their quest to move up the grid.

“My role will be a development and reserve driver,” he explained.

“Of course time has changed in Formula 1 so there is a bit less action and much more simulator work.

“I will be working, trying to improve the car, help the team in the simulator but also some activities on the race track in order to be in a position to give better feedback.

“Having been given the chance to drive a Formula 1 car, and actually see that I’m able to do it, was one of my best days of my life.

“I will have a bit of time in the car, behind the wheel, and I’m looking forward to that for sure.

“But I’m also looking forward to trying to help the guys with the simulator to get it as close as possible to reality.

“It is a bit different role than racing but I think I can have personal satisfaction and personal goals this year.”

…and a test driver role for Kubica

Date published: January 16 2018

Having opted to sign Sergey Sirotkin as their second driver, Williams have handed Robert Kubica a test driver role for the 2018 F1 season.

The Polish driver had hoped to return to Formula 1 after suffering serious injuries in a rally crash back in 2011.

Having initially tried to land a Renault seat, Kubica turned to Williams and spent time behind the wheel of the FW40.

In the end, though, Williams opted to go with Sirotkin over Kubica.

The Pole, though, will be in the paddock as he has gined as the team’s official reserve and development driver with the aim of one day returning to a race-seat.

Kubica will take part in pre-season testing, the in-season tests and also a number of race weekend practice sessions.

“I’m extremely happy to be joining the Williams team as its official Reserve and Development Driver this season,” said the 2008 Canadian GP winner.

“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.

” I have enjoyed being back in the Formula One paddock over these past few months, and I now look forward to working with the Williams technical team, both at the factory and at the track, to really help push forward the development of the FW41 and to make a real difference to their 2018 campaign. 

“Having driven both the FW36 and the FW40, I’m looking forward to seeing how the FW41 measures up on track and working with the team to ensure we can maximise the performance of the car. 

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

Kubica set for Williams reserve role – report

Date published: January 13 2018

Williams has reportedly offered Robert Kubica the chance to become their reserve driver for the 2018 season, according to L’Equipe.

The Pole had been hoping to land a full-time seat alongside Lance Stroll and complete a fairytale comeback to the sport after life-changing injuries, but has seemingly lost out to Sergey Sirotkin with an announcement expected next week.

But rather than close the door completely on Kubica, Williams are apparently interested in making him their reserve driver for the upcoming campaign and give him the chance to drive in Friday practice sessions.

With two young drivers in Sirotkin and Stroll, it is believed Kubica’s experience would be a valuable asset to the team as he could help with the set-up of their 2018 challenger.

Kubica needed ‘time to adapt’ to new tyres

Date published: January 12 2018

Pirelli’s Mario Isola believes Robert Kubica could have showed his true pace if he was given “more time to adapt” to the tyres.

Reports have been circulating in recent weeks that, finances aside, Sergey Sirotkin also made more of an impression on Williams at the Abu Dhabi test because he was able to extract more pace from the slower tyres than Robert Kubica, who was long considered to be the strong favourite to land the 2018 seat.

But, after speaking to Kubica, Isola has no doubt that Kubica has a good understanding of the tyres and just needs more track time to be able to showcase his true performance.

“I believe that Robert is a professional driver with a lot of experience, even if he didn’t drive a Formula 1 car for a long time,” Isola told RACER.

“But he has the feeling. Obviously I was asking him for some opinions on the tyres and he has a precise idea on the performance, degradation, how to drive and so on.”

Isola then went on to suggest that Kubica’s lengthy absence has not been fully taken into account and Sirotkin was always going to have an edge on him after getting FP1 experience with Renault in 2017.

He added: “It is clear that if you take a driver who didn’t drive a Formula 1 car for six or seven years and the Formula 1 car he is driving is completely different to the one he left when he stopped.

“Because of the downforce, because of the tyres, because of everything – he actually drove our tyres in the beginning of 2011 in the pre-season test in Valencia, so it’s not completely true that he never drove our tyres – he was able to adapt quickly.

“But you cannot pretend that any driver [in that situation] jumping in a car will be quicker than a driver who was involved in many tests or many races.

“Give him the time to adapt and to show us the full potential. I believe he is still a very quick driver.”