Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019

Kubica has to avoid kerbs due to parts shortage

2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Robert Kubica says he will have to stay off the kerbs during this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix because Williams is short of parts to repair his car with.

“It’s not an easy situation from the driver point of view because we will be limited with spare parts and everything,” said Kubica in Bahrain.

“Looking at what happened to me in Friday in Australia in FP1 by going on top of one kerb I get a damaged floor and we didn’t have bits to replace it. It affected probably all weekend. It’s something where you have to have a safe approach.”

Kubica said his floor was damaged on the fifth lap of practice. Williams does not have a replacement floor for his car but has repaired the damage incurred in Melbourne.

“The team is trying to get us the best car we can have to drive,” said Kubica. “But on the other hand I think in a perfect world you would have fresher parts starting a weekend and having some spare parts in a good state.

“The thing is it’s already a very difficult car to drive – not difficult, but we are lacking the grip. If we are having the parts not at 100 percent we are limiting ourselves as well.

“The situation is not perfect but still the guys and everybody is trying to do their best. We have to do the best with what we have.”

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Robert Kubica, Williams, Albert Park, 2019
Kubica damaged his car’s floor on the fifth lap of practice
Kubica said the team’s parts shortage is exacerbating the problems they have with its FW42 chassis, which was over a second off the pace of its rivals in Australia and slower than the team’ 2018 car.

“We have this [since] Barcelona that often we are driving with the car which is not up to the best shape it can be.

“This is another factor we’ve got to make sure we get on top of it as soon as possible because also it is putting the driver in a difficult position. Because we are talking today but knowing tomorrow the situation is like it is, you cannot go over the kerbs – or you can go over the kerbs but the risk is the car will fall apart and then you have no parts to fit them.

“It is already lacking performance and we are adding another factor which is complicating our life. I know in the factory everybody is working hard. We just need a bit more time to fix the second issue but the first I’m not in a position to answer.”

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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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  • 39 comments on “Kubica has to avoid kerbs due to parts shortage”

      1. @jerejj not even remotely funny though is it? I mean, you really laughed out loud? I very much doubt it, and it isn’t even a comment set up for discussion either.

    1. This isn’t even funny any more.

      Not being prepared for testing is unfortunate.

      Not being prepared for the first race is bad.

      Not being prepared for the 2nd race is farcical.

      Claire Williams should walk for this. How can the team be so badly mismanaged to go from a team making the worst car in 2018, to not even making a completed project in 2019. I’ve not seen mismanagement like this since HRT, and they were a new team.

      1. And not to mention gone from the grid. HRT that is. Possibly Williams is on its way out how sad that may be, might be the truth.

      2. There could be many reasons for this and we have no idea what any of those reasons could be. It is not easy getting lots of carbon fibre parts made quickly. Once you are behind it takes time to get the parts through the process.

      3. I’ve not seen mismanagement like this since HRT, and they were a new team.

        Manor, in 2015 (their 6th season). They were unable to get Will Stevens’ car ready for the second race after his fuel pump failed before qualifying.
        This goes to show that Williams haven’t hit rock bottom. Yet.

      4. @stopitrawr, the question will be how much could be said to lie with Claire and how much lies with Lowe, because it has to be said that he’s been getting a fair bit of criticism himself.

        Williams’s technical department hasn’t exactly been great for some time now, with several of their recent cars having technical flaws built into them. Even so, it has to be said that the two most recent cars, which have been some of Williams’s most flawed cars for a while, have come under Lowe’s technical direction – it is perhaps inevitable that there will be questions over whether the flaws were down to the way in which Lowe has been directing his team.

        Some have also suggested that some of the current production issues and low morale of those in Williams’s manufacturing division might be due to Lowe, amid suggestions that he sacked a number of Williams’s senior production managers and tried to impose new working conditions on those on the shop floor.

        Now, the validity of those rumours are entirely open to question but if it is true, and it is a big if, that Lowe introduced major changes to Williams’s production centre, it might go some way to explaining the production issues Williams have now.

      5. Is Paddy still on that “private leave”?!
        Claire seems totally out of control…hopefully, she at least she focuses on her kid!
        The old man is probably too old and ill to take control…so, sell it to Toto?

    2. Even the 2016 Manor had spares…

        1. 2015. And no, they didn’t. They didn’t talk about running out of parts, they just did it.

          1. Hi nase… If they didn’t talk about it, how do you know…? ;-)

    3. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

      Seeing a floor has a major feed in time so wouldn’t have been delayed by the desperation to replace illegal parts, it makes you wonder how little Rokit paid for title sponsorship.

      1. There will only be so many autoclaves available as they are very expensive. If there are other parts that need to be made then the floors will have to wait, especially as they will likely take up an entire large autoclave by themselves while that same autoclave can be used for a number of smaller parts. Floors are not damaged as often as other parts of the car and so they may well be prioritising autoclave time to those parts which are far more likely to need replacements (ie the front wings etc). Also they may have had a spare floor had the one used in Australia not been damaged. The other factor is that there is no stability in the design as they need to make a lot of changes to improve the car which means more parts needing to be made. For instance they may be making a number of different front wing designs in order to test them and improve performance. They will then take a couple of the best versions to Bahrain where they can test them on the track and they will need a few of each one as they will not know which one they will need in the race.

        1. Not to mention it makes no sense to make more floors as spares if you know the aero on the floor is not working. Might just as well hold on for couple of races and get a new floor design made that should be faster. In williams’ case it seems to be the case that better focus bring in new better parts than to bring in spares.

          1. Given the post race test and the fact they they’ll be back markers in Bahrain in any case, it would be a really bad decision to over-commit to superseded spares.

        2. Sorry, Lee, but it doesn’t work like this. Wait, maybe it is… Maybe this is really how Williams design their chassis. Make a bunch of parts by pure guessing, fit them on the actual car, send them to race a GP and look if it will work or not.

          1. I did not say that at all. However they do have to physically make parts to test them. You know like the ones we see every team try out over a season. They will be making parts to test in wind tunnels after they have done the CFD on them etc. Then the ones that pass the wind tunnel tests will be taken to the track. We have seen many F1 teams over the years testing out various parts on race weekends, Williams are no different, they just are further behind and may well need to test a number of designs. Wind tunnels and CFD only tel you so much which is why we see the aero paint at tests…

    4. I sincerely hope they survive this.

    5. i want to see when will he finally get enough of this and quit the team. my bet is Silverstone, where Williams had serious aerodinamic troubles last year.

    6. What. A. Yoke.

    7. Oddest version of a “giant killing feat”, Williams have killed the giant that was once Williams.

      Its embarrassing

    8. Maybe start by staying away from the walls?

      1. Hi there. How’s Max doing?

    9. How can you be out of spare parts from the get go?

      1. you can’t be out of spare parts if you never had any *smart*

      2. Take your pick from these – as many as you like….
        a) By having parts which were illegal and requiring a major redesign immediately before race 1 wouldn’t help.
        b) By having a very unhappy workforce after problems last year
        c) By having cash problems as all the money expected didn’t arrive on time
        d) By having very poor project management and not anticipating difficulties.
        e) No leadership.

        1. . . . or all of the above…! – which I guess is what you meant… ;-)

        2. I would add looking top heavy with floaters and deadwood yuppies at the factory. Too much poncing and not enough cranking.

    10. I was about to comment “STOP STOP! It’s already dead” but then I was filled with immense sadness, because it is Williams, so I refrained from it.

      I guess I did it anyway, but I don’t mean it

      1. stupidest comment ever

        1. Don’t be so hard on, @johnmilk…er… yourself. It is sad to witness this public self-immolation of Williams.

        2. Some of your previous comments have been worse… ;-)

          1. I set the bar pretty high

    11. …or you can go over the kerbs but the risk is the car will fall apart and then you have no parts to fit them.

      It sounds like this car needs to be treated nicely. Maybe the reasons for being a second or so off the pace aren’t so much aerodynamic as structural. I don’t know what path Williams followed that lead to their current predicament, but if their chassis is weak then I’d have thought there’d have been some red flags that told them they were going down a bad path.

    12. Williams please suck it up and become a B-team (probably Mercedes B).
      It’s your only way out!

    13. Pathetic. From it’s humble beginnings to having designed and raced the most complex ride-height adjusting suspension in F1 history, to greatness, to oblivion. Pathetic, just pathetic.

      1. Paddy Lowe was a big part of Williams’ active suspension

    14. I probably have too much ignorance.

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