Robert Kubica, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Kubica frustrated by lack of representative running

2019 F1 season

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Robert Kubica says his final day of running in the Williams before the Australian Grand Prix has left him with little idea what to expect at the first race of the year.

Kubica covered 90 laps in the FW42 on Friday but said afterwards he hadn’t got a feel for “the maximum of the car”.

“We had some issues,” said Kubica. “Unfortunately the car was not representative to what it should be.

“This had a big impact on our test, our running programme today. All the information was misleading and some way [it was] also difficult to get some information, any information for Australia.”

“There were some positive things,” he added, “but as I said it’s difficult to say [if] it moved forward when actually you are staying in the garage or you are running in the car which is not in the configuration it should be It’s difficult to get any valid information, any valid feedback.”

Williams did not begin running until the third day of testing last week due to the late completion of the car. Kubica said he is still unsure how competitive the car will be.

“First of all we have to solve our issues. I think there is no point us talking about upgrades if we have to still recover [from] our problems.

“Anyway when the car was, let’s say, in proper configuration, which unfortunately it wasn’t today, the feeling was not bad. But I think performance-wise first you have to solve the issues then think about performance otherwise it’s confusing.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 25 comments on “Kubica frustrated by lack of representative running”

    1. Understandable that Kubica is frustrated. We all saw how Di Resta struggled to get on the pace when he replaced Felipe Massa at the Hungarian GP. Di Resta did what he could, but he was in over his head and ultimately under-prepared. Kubica will be fully aware that not only the car needs track-time, but so does he.

      1. pastaman (@)
        1st March 2019, 18:18

        I think this comparison is a bit of a stretch…

      2. @me4me you can’t compare both situations. Di Resta had never driven that car and was using undersized shoes!

        1. I think the under-prepared aspect is fully valid. Kubica has been driving around in an unrepresentative car doing aero and setup work. He’s been out of F1 for far longer than Di Resta had been.

          1. Why Di resta?
            There is no comparison what so ever.

            1. Yeh! Kubica is not that handicapped ;)

    2. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      1st March 2019, 18:43

      I’m looking forward to seeing how Kubica fares. I still think it’s a fantastic story to see him return – I just hope both he and Williams can move forward. Though, he really does look like Megamind.

      1. @rocketpanda That’s hilarious that you mentioned Megamind because I was just about to post about that photo: Mars Attacks!, anyone?

    3. There’ll still be opportunities for Williams. The other 9 teams won’t all turn up at Melbourne, nail their setups and execute the perfect strategy and race… without piling into one another on the first day back at school! Plodding round reliably could be a cunning plan.

    4. What a shame. I don’t think many people want to see Williams running round at the back, but it’s looking that way this year.

      I was a fan of Mansell, Hill and Coulthard in the Williams. It’s sad to see the great team struggling to keep afloat.

      1. What is your source for stating they are struggling to keep afloat? They are publicly traded so you can look at their financial records. Did you do that?

        1. I haven’t looked at their records but last year Claire did imply that without better money distribution from F1 post-2020, they’re done, or at least in deep trouble.

        2. BlackJackFan
          2nd March 2019, 10:22

          Andy… what is your source for challenging JohnNik’s comment…? ;-)

    5. Given some attrition, probably expect, like, 15th? I’ll be cheering you on regardless, but this won’t be any walk in the… Park…

    6. If anyone on the current grid can extract the maximum from a poor car AND develop it over a season, Kubica is the one!

      1. BlackJackFan
        2nd March 2019, 10:29

        You could be right about Kubica… but he might have already extracted the most from what looks like another duff car… And for this, Williams gave up early on last year’s car…?
        Tragic, but I feel Sir Frank’s stubbornness, which got him to the F1 heights, is now destroying his legacy…

    7. Kubica was a no-nonsence driver back with BMW…only have to remember how outspoken he was when BMW decided to switch all attention to the next year’s car when Bobby K had just won the Canadian GP!

      I vaguely recall some pretty blunt radio conversations too. He doesn’t pull his punches so will be interesting to see how Williams reacts to that compared to George’s more diplomatic attitude.

    8. Williams PR @ the end of last season: We’re against the idea of “B teams” & are proud of the fact that we’re a proper constructor!
      Williams PR when they showed up late for testing: Well, these things can happen… especially when you’re a proper constructor like us who builds everything in house!
      Williams PR @ the end of the last day of testing: Our reliability is great! The plan was to run until we were out of tires, but unfortunately because of the whole “us building everything ourselves” thing, we had no spares ready & ended up running out of bodywork instead…

      Makes me sad :(

      1. What would be worse is becoming a B team then the A team’s board decides they don’t want to do F1 anymore (because it’s just a marketing exercise to them) and pull out, thereby screwing the B team that was completely dependent on them. B teams are a terrible idea for F1.

        1. BlackJackFan
          2nd March 2019, 10:39

          Hi Andy – I agree with you but… if the current climate is to have B-teams then the Williams option is impractical.
          If, as you fear, Williams become a ‘B’ team for Merc who, after two more years say, pull out, I suspect Williams would then be in a better position to revive themselves than they are now.
          If they continue with what amounts to a ‘head-in-the-sand’ attitude they could otherwise be dead in two years time. At least, with their current management structure.
          I would rather see them battling with the mid-field than crawling around at the rear in every race. And staying independent will never see them back in the Top Three.

    9. José Lopes da Silva
      1st March 2019, 23:12

      Quite, quite sad to see that Williams will do a Minardi for the second year in a row. Hope it doesn’t. And honestly, if it does better than Lola at Melbourne, I’ll be glad.

    10. The long slow death of Williams is a grim sight. Another season at the back and FW will surely sell. He was winning right out of the gate 40 years ago, and then won everything for years. The two great mistakes – of letting Newey go, and doing the deal with BMW – were symptomatic of the arrogance the team could afford at the time (like letting two title winners go), and have proved fateful. The loss of so much talent in the last decade is telling. If Williams can over-perform at a few races this year and maybe nick a podium or two, then perhaps they have a shot at securing another factory deal (assuming another manufacturer wants in), but otherwise, it looks like the end might be nigh.

      1. @rsp123, strictly speaking, Williams did not win “right out of the gate”, at least in the sense that Frank Williams’s original team – Frank Williams Racing Cars – never won a race in its existence between 1967 and 1976.

        When Williams split with Walter Wolf and went on to found a new team, which is the current Williams Grand Prix Engineering, back in 1977, it took a couple of years and one of, if not the biggest, budget in the sport to make them into a race winner in 1979.

        With regards to letting Newey go, there is the inevitable question of how long Williams could have kept him there. When he was leaving Williams, he would have known that the team was going to be losing their supply of Renault engines, and would not have yet known that BMW were coming on board – it would have been one thing to be at a team that had full factory backing from a major manufacturer, and another to be at a team that was having to make do with effectively second hand engines.

        As for the comment about BMW, I’m not sure what exactly that is about – is it meant to be a criticism of the team doing a deal with BMW to supply engines, or is it a criticism of the team refusing to sell a controlling stake in the team to BMW? If it is the former, that is difficult to understand – whilst BMW did have a few difficult years at the start, fairly soon they were considered to be the best engine builder in the sport and, if anything, probably helping Williams to make up some of their chassis deficit to their rivals through raw power.

        If it is meant to criticise the team for not selling out to BMW, that was something that could have been a bit of a poisoned chalice for Williams. Whilst Sauber had money pumped into their team, the way in which BMW pulled the plug afterwards was pretty damaging to the team – they were lucky to be allowed to compete at all in 2010, since BMW chose to pull out in a way that voided their entry rights for the 2010 season, whilst the fiasco surrounding the near sale of the team to Qadbak damaged the reputation of the team and, if Peter Sauber had not been able to step in at the last minute, the team would almost certainly have collapsed.

        Even as it was, for years afterwards the team was left in a pretty precarious financial position – whilst BMW might have pumped in money, once they cut their ties and pulled out of the team, that infrastructure and headcount then suddenly became a major problem for the team. The problem is that they were then left with a wage bill and infrastructure costs that they could not afford, forcing them into a fairly drastic and expensive downsizing exercise – quite a few of the financial problems that the team faced up until 2017 were, in part, down to the debts that the team accrued in 2010 when they tried to restructure themselves.

        In that sense, selling out to BMW might not necessarily have been in the best interests of the team given the cycle that Sauber went through – it might have given some benefits in the shorter term, but the way that BMW handled their withdrawal from F1 caused a fair bit of damage to Sauber.

        1. BlackJackFan
          3rd March 2019, 1:23

          Thanks again for another fine response…
          [PPS: are you referring to ‘the chalice from the palace’…? ;-) ]

    11. Hakk the Rack
      3rd March 2019, 9:00

      Every single post test photo shows him extremely tired or dissapointed.

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