Robert Kubica, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Kubica nearing decision on WEC LMP1 drive

2018 F1 season

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Robert Kubica is aiming to decide within a few weeks whether he will race in the World Endurance Championship this year.

The Williams reserve driver has been linked with a race seat at the team run by former Manor F1 boss Graeme Lowden. Kubica attended a test for Lowden’s CEFC TRSM Racing squad but hasn’t driven their Ginetta LMP1 car yet.

“I [was] there three days, I didn’t go there to watch but in the end I didn’t drive,” he told media including RaceFans in Spain. “We will probably have another go in next weeks and then we will decide what we are going to.”

Kubica said he would “like to be involved in a good project in LMP1” but needs to ensure it fits around his Williams commitments. He agreed a deal to race in the WEC with the byKolles team last year but pulled out before the season began.

Esteban Ocon, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
Pictures: 2018 pre-season F1 testing day eight
RaceFans understands Kubica has some budget available to bring to an LMP1 drive following his failure to land a race seat at Williams for 2018.

He said he needs to show his commitment to demonstrate he is ready to return to a race seat in Formula One.

“Once I committed to this year I have to work and I have to be committed as much as I can. Whatever it will be asked for me from the team I will do it because in the end it’s part of the job that I am committed.

“If I decide to do it it means that I was happy to do it and I think I am prepared to use the opportunity to get me closer in the end. And when I get a chance to drive or come closer to a race seat I will for sure be more prepared than I was a couple of months ago.”

Kubica also answered questions whether he had voluntarily given up his last stint in testing to race driver Lance Stroll.

“What’s the difference?” he said. “It comes from me. I say that I have no problem to give away the time if the race drivers feel that they need more time, because I’m not scoring points for the team.”

“I don’t think it’s so strange but it looks like it’s very strange, probably people are not used to it. I think it shows we are all working for one direction and we have one goal which is to use our chances and maximise our possibilities for results.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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10 comments on “Kubica nearing decision on WEC LMP1 drive”

  1. The guys is a class act

    1. That’s my impression too. And also, it shows confidence in his own abilities and a wider look at the whole field when he shows that others might need the time more then him to prepare for the race in a few weeks, while he also has other challenges he has to decide to.

      1. @bosyber lets be serious, it’s not like THAT will help stroll make a difference. Williams blew it big time. They had every opportunity to turn things around starting 2014. Now they have their last Season with ample funding and they waste it on two subpar drivers. Next Year Martini will have jumped ship. All aboard the failtrain, next stop last Row on the grid…

        1. @mrboerns quite true, that’s part of why Kubica can safely do this, I think. About driver choice, since Williams need the money, they are wedded to Stroll, so might as well do everything to get him as much up to speed as they can. Kubica was only ever going to get Sirotkin’s car, and he’s doing not so bad thus far, I think. We’ll have to wait and see whether the car is indeed a step forward, or not (so far, doesn’t look it, but who knows).

          1. What good is a better car? It needs to be a second faster (in RELATIVE terms) for Stroll to compete on Massa’s level. That’s right, not to close some imaginary gap to the front or something, but to remain sort of middleish midfield contenders instead of straight up backmarkers.

  2. I’m going to gloat in Kubica getting a seat next year elsewhere and killing it, and Williams are still stuck with Stroll and Sirotkin, realizing they could have had Kubica for a fraction of what he’s worth.

  3. Why can’t Kubica do a full WEC season being a test driver when Alonso can do it while being a full-time lead driver?

    1. A lot of drivers/managers are getting self-conscious about drivers going to other categories because (a) it exposes some drivers as underachievers, (b) team managers don’t want their drivers to know they can race elsewhere. They don’t want to deal with drivers asking. (c) Some are worried about tarnishing of the F1 brand if drivers don’t perform well.

      So glad Fernando is doing WEC, really hope Kubica does it too. I’ll be watching, that’s for sure.

    2. @major-dev @ajpennypacker
      Exactly, AJ, the (c) gets quite strong these days. Like when Barrichello went to IndyCar in 2012, got the same car as everybody, and in half of the races he couldn’t even break into the top-10. The F1 world seemed to be silent about it.

  4. I was following this weeks day 3 testing, every time kubica went in the pits, he improved the car and came out driving quicker, then stroll jumped in the car, and as Paddy Lowe said, they got lost on the setup…Stroll is hopeless, hes been driving enough in f1 to by now to understand set up changes. Sirotkin on Friday did a good job, while Stroll again got lost, .8 behind Sirotkin on softs, and about the same behind kubica on super softs. And Kubica gave up a half day of testing to help these young guys and the team.. the team would be better helped to sign him as a race driver, then he could develop the car every race weekend. Daddy Stroll’s money is worthless to Williams going up the grid if the driver is just plain too slow.

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