Robert Kubica will race for Williams if either of its regular drivers is unable to, chief technical officer Paddy Lowe has told RaceFans.
The 33-year-old, who made his last F1 start in 2010, has been appointed the team’s reserve and development driver for the upcoming season.
Some F1 teams have not always used their reserve drivers as substitutes when a regular driver is unable to race. In 2013 Lotus passed over official reserve driver Davide Valsecchi when Kimi Raikkonen missed two races due to injury and gave the seat to Heikki Kovalainen instead.
Last year Williams ran reserve driver Paul di Resta when Felipe Massa was unable to participate in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Speaking exclusively to RaceFans, Lowe confirmed Kubica will “absolutely” get the same chance and he is preparing for it accordingly.
“The guy’s at racing weight,” said Lowe. “Imagine the commitment he’s putting in to be at racing weight. That’s a tough life.”
“But that’s what he’s doing and that shows the commitment of the guy to support the role we’ve given him.”
Kubica sees his role at the team as more about improving the car than improving himself.
“Every day you can learn something new,” he said. “In the end of the year, this is guessing, but I think I will be [a] better – maybe not driver, because in the end when I am jumping in the car I have different priorities and so it’s not about fine-tuning and small details – my job is more about getting [the] global picture, more about feedback, trying to find weaker points of the car and trying to give suggestions and give ideas to improve the car.”
He also expects to help give confidence to the team’s drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin.
“Approaching the new tracks we have Sergey which has never been in Australia. Also Lance it will be his second time. It’s important to give them confidence that the car will do what they want and will be working well in every possible condition.
“Of course it’s not easy to do it, it will for sure require time. But this is I think a fair point and a fair target to achieve.”
Read our full exclusive interview with Paddy Lowe later today on RaceFans.
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