Robert Kubica, Williams, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Kubica: F1 “completely different” in some ways since return

2019 F1 season

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Robert Kubica has found some aspects of Formula 1 are “completely different” on his return to the sport following an eight-year absence.

The Australian Grand Prix was Kubica’s first F1 race start since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He said the sport has “changed a lot not only from technical point of view but also from driving point of view” in that time.

“There’s a lot of things which are the same and you get exactly the same feeling or same approach. But there are things which are completely different like managing the tyres.”

Kubica’s last F1 start before 2019 came while Bridgestone was still the sport’s official tyre supplier. He said managing the current Pirelli rubber is very different.

“In general the pace, race pace is completely different to the past, especially in our situation where we struggle with the grips. The tyres are an extremely important factor and it’s a topic where you have to put a lot of attention.”

Although Kubica has faced a difficult return to F1 in a car which is far off the pace, he said a “very good outcome” is that his race performances have answered those who questioned whether the injuries he sustained in 2011 would keep him from racing.

“I didn’t have doubts, but for sure as I haven’t done long races in the past the last years there is always kind of a question mark. My physical level is good and I didn’t have problems during the races which was something probably most of the people were worried. It came out that we shouldn’t be worried about this. I was expecting it.”

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20 comments on “Kubica: F1 “completely different” in some ways since return”

  1. This guy would have had at least a couple of championships by now if he’d gone to Ferrari in 2012.

      1. That made me laugh, @svianna!

    1. Do you think he would have won those championships where Alonso failed to, or where Vettel failed to? Can potentially agree with you if it’s the latter, but I have my doubts about 2012 or 2013.

    2. Didi, as others have noted, is it realistic to assume that he would have done significantly better than Alonso in that timeframe, or that he would have done significantly better than Vettel in that timeframe?

      In 2012, the question is whether an Alonso-Kubica line up would have been more effective at taking points off of Vettel, or whether they would have taken more points off each other than they took off Vettel. Personally, I think that given the F2012 was a rather flawed car, especially with the front suspension geometry – which, whilst it had advantages for aerodynamics, reportedly resulted in a number of tyre temperature management issues and excessive wear on the inner shoulder of the tyre – there is as much, if not more, of a likelihood of them taking more points off each other than off Vettel, particularly with the updated version of the RB8 that was more to Vettel’s liking in the latter part of the season.

      After that, we saw how Ferrari’s competitiveness declined from 2013 through to 2016, and it was only by the time that we got to 2017 and 2018 that the car looked like it could be a title contender. Asides from the question of whether he’d still want to be at Ferrari by then, as it is quite possible that, like Alonso, he could have tired of the sense that things just weren’t working out, it is hard to see where he might have had a competitive enough car except in the past couple of years.

      I think that saying he “would have had at least a couple of championships” looks rather optimistic to me – I suspect that, at best, he’d probably have had a similar experience to Alonso during that period, when the car was not close enough, or that of Vettel in the first few years with Ferrari, where the team was seemingly on the up again, but not quite there yet. The only way that he might have had a few championships would be if he went to Mercedes, but I think that Mercedes probably would have stuck with that Hamilt-Rosberg line up, however much grief it gave them at times.

      1. Yes, kubica was never an alonso, slightly better than massa if that, and that’s as someone who’s happy he managed to come back.

  2. Mark Hughes wrote about how kubica and Russell changed floors for Friday in China, and Kubica was quicker, he also said the team found that kubicas chassis is suffering about 8% aero loss compared to Russell’s car. Williams biggest problem is they don’t have new parts for their cars, and no updates since testing. Any other team would have bought in a new chassis by now. Here are every lap times from Russell and Kubica in China. Kubica lost about 12 seconds in pitstop the next races are going to be exactly the same for the Williams drivers until the team can atleast do something… But I think they have changed focus to next year already and won’t bring any updates all year.

    1. Literally burn the place to the ground with all the management inside.

      1. That sounded a little more cut-throat than it was with the jovial voice in my head.

    2. Suffering Williams Fan
      22nd April 2019, 14:16

      Williams brought new parts to China, so I think it’s a bit early to suggest they’re already giving up on this car, but clearly the gap is so large that it will take a while to close to the midfield.

      1. Suffering Williams Fan
        22nd April 2019, 14:18

        (they’ve also stated that new parts are in the pipeline)

        1. As the old parts went down the drain…

      2. Which parts were they? I read they had a new floor for Russell in bahrain and reverted to Melbourne spec.

  3. Robert is to honest for today’s f1. People that wish for him to fail will point out the timing sheets forgetting about the diference in both Williams cars and his lack of expiriance in mam aging the tyres etc. He is such a professional and devoted driver it would be a mistake to cross him off. He has still a lot to give just give him a car thats drivable and let him do his job.

    1. Indeed. And those that mock him forget that he is matching the current GP2 champion!

      In fact I don’t think many people even give credit to Russell at all.

    2. I agree about the quality of car he’s been given to drive, but I really think he’d be better off just quietly getting on with it.

      To be honest, his times are not all that stellar, and even when testing for Renault did not look all that good. I’m hoping that over the rest of the season we’ll see his times improve dramatically and a better showing agains Russell but so far I’ve yet to see the impressive driver that we were all hoping for.

  4. He is an ex-driver and still very slow to deserve a seat based on time instead of money and reputation/fame.

    1. Don’t know why he bothered or why any team would want him. Lance Stroll would beat him in equal cars, for Pete’s sake.

      1. Yes but with his condition he can’t prove his best with a car that’s already bad enough as it is and him not having the modifications to his car that he needs. The fact that he makes it to the finish line unlike other drivers for example Richardo does say a lot about his driving skill and ability

  5. He’s always worth listening to, way more insightful than the average F1 driver. I suspect he can still compete with most of the current grid, but I fear we’ll never know.
    Williams need to build the FW39. The trouble started when they missed one and went straight from FW38 to 40…

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