Rosberg steps away as Kubica’s manager

Robert Kubica has revealed that Nico Rosberg is no longer working as a key part of his management team.

Rosberg joined forces with Kubica last season as the Pole attempted to nail down a full-time return to Formula 1 with a seat at Williams.

It was believed at the time that Rosberg would be able to help seal the deal given that he still had a good relationship with the team after starting his career there back in 2006.

But Kubica lost out to Sergey Sirotkin and settled for a reserve and development driver role instead.

As a result, Rosberg is not playing an active role in Kubica's management team.

"We did have a close work together at the end of last year, and we are in a good relationship, but for now, because I am doing what I am doing and he is very busy and he has his family, we are not working as close as we were last year, " Kubica told Autosport.

"But we are still in touch.

"It is just that this period was very intense and now it's a completely different situation.

"It is not a situation that Nico has been working and now is not working. It is just that the situation is that he is not as present as he was.

Kubica did not rule out working more closely with Rosberg again, stating that it would depend on the circumstances.

"It doesn't depend only from my side," he added.

"A lot will depend on the situation and also it is kind of new everything for me to be back in paddock. 

"So we will see what the future will bring and then we'll move on."

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No extra practice sessions for Kubica at Williams

Robert Kubica will not be given any extra practice sessions at Williams as the Grove-based team try to overcome their very poor start to the season.

There have been fresh calls for Kubica, currently the reserve and development driver at Williams, to be given more FP1 practice sessions than initially scheduled so he can use his experience to give more valuable feedback back to the team.

With a relatively inexperienced line-up in Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe has admitted that it only adds to the challenge.

But he will not be tempted to give Kubica more time in the car.

"Having two young drivers doesn't make the task easier when the car doesn't work," Lowe said.

"We would be taking away important track time for Sergey and he needs every kilometre."

Lowe has also called for calm heads as Williams try to work through their problems.

Everyone in the field has their problems, but we have bigger ones," Lowe added.

"It would be wrong to become depressed. Only if we work purposefully can we reverse the trend."

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Kubica: ‘Stroll asks questions, not Sirotkin’

Robert Kubica has described his relationship with Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin as he settles into life as Williams' reserve and development driver.

The Pole, who has recently turned down the opportunity to drive in the World Endurance Championship to concentrate on his Formula 1 commitments, is doing plenty of work in the simulator as Williams try to get the FW41 up to speed.

The general consensus is that Kubica would act as a valuable mentor to the relatively inexperienced driving duo of Stroll and Sirotkin, but he says that is not how the dynamic is working.

"I would not say that I'm a teacher and they're my students," Kubica said.

"But they do have little experience – like anybody when they start.

"F1 is a complicated sport.

"Lance and Sergey come to me with questions, more so Stroll than Sirotkin.

Kubica's relationship with Sirotkin recently came under the spotlight when motor-mouth Jacques Villeneuve suggested the Pole would look to sabotage him to try and force his way back onto the grid.

But Kubica has said there are no issues between them, adding: "It's nothing personal with Sergey – perhaps Lance just has some experience already and so he knows what to ask."

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Kubica turns down WEC drive with Manor

Robert Kubica has decided to turn down the opportunity of racing in the World Endurance Championship in order to fully concentrate on his Formula 1 commitments.

The Williams reserve and development driver took part in two tests during the off-season and was offered the chance to join the EFC TRSM Racing team, but his already hectic schedule means he will not be participating in WEC's 'Super Season'.

“The tests went quite well, but the problem is time,” Kubica said at a press conference organised by Grupa Lotos.  “I will have very little [time], so I decided not to compete in the WEC. 

“I will focus on my role at Williams. During the past 45 days, I’ve spent two days at home and I don’t really know anymore where home is – I’d love to race but I have to be rational.”

CEFC TRSM Racing’s sporting director Graeme Lowdon said he would have loved to have had Kubica on board, but ultimately understands his decision.

“Robert is a good friend of the team — he helped us out in testing and we gave him the chance to see what the car was like,” Lowdon told Motorsport.com.

“If he was looking to race in the WEC, we’d have have been very happy to have him. His duties at Williams are quite extensive, so I think a WEC programme on top would have been an awful lot of work.”

 

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Kubica ‘possibly sabotaging’ Williams

Such was Williams’ lacklustre Australian GP that Jacques Villeneuve has questioned whether Robert Kubica is deliberately playing with the Williams drivers.

Neither Lance Stroll nor Sergey Sirotkin shone during the Australian GP weekend with Stroll going as far as to say that “we’re not racing out there at the moment, we are surviving.”

However, it may not be the Canadian’s fault, nor Sirotkin’s.

Rather Villeneuve suggests that third driver Kubica could be deliberately sabotaging them in order to secure a promotion to a race-seat.

“I find it difficult to classify the situation at Williams,” he told Sky Italia.

“The only thing that could unlock the potential of the car was Kubica, and it is Robert who is the driver who drives the development of the car.

“It’s possible that he’s tuning the car so that it’s hard to ride for the other drivers.

“His dream is to race again, not be a third man, I would not underestimate that, and I would do the same in his place.”

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Kubica: Would be nice to have a chance to race

Robert Kubica may be happy with what he’s achieved by returning to F1 as a reserve driver but says lining up on the grid as a race driver remains his goal.

Having suffered a severe arm injury in a rally crash in early 2011, it looked as if Kubica’s racing career was over.

Six years later he returned to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car when he tested for Renault before being handed a reserve driver role with Williams for the 2018 season.

Kubica, though, is still dreaming of racing.

“From one side, I’m happy to be testing and I’m happy that I have an opportunity thanks to Williams to be a part of the team and to have an opportunity to drive the car,” he told Sky Sports News.

“But once you are there, for sure it would be nice to have a chance.

“I have to concentrate on my job, which I am doing. What the future will bring, I do not know.

“If you re-look at the last 12 months of my life, I think I can be really happy with what I have achieved.”

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Lowe shuts down Kubica comparisons

Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe did not entertain any questions about how reserve driver Robert Kubica fared against Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin in pre-season testing.

The Pole was reportedly quicker at the Circuit de Catalunya than both Stroll and Sirotkin, prompting more questions to be asked as to why he was not given the 2018 drive ahead of Sirotkin, who made the move from a reserve role at Renault during the off-season.

But Lowe was particularly defensive when asked about Kubica's performance and how it matched up to the main driver line-up.

"I don't want to answer that question. I find that it's simply not worthy of an answer," Lowe said.

Lowe also insisted that Stroll will be a good barometer for Sirotkin's performance with a year of F1 experience under his belt.

"Lance is still very young but already on a completely different level to twelve months ago," said Lowe.

"It puts his position in a different context. It was almost too difficult for him to think 'My job is to be as strong as Felipe [Massa] last season."

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