Robert Kubica, Williams, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Kubica still enjoying return despite poor car

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Robert Kubica says he’s still able to enjoy driving in his long-awaited return to Formula 1 despite his Williams being so uncompetitive.

What they say

Kubica was asked if he’s still able to have fun driving this year:

Of course it would be nicer to race with more drivers and actually to be closer to the pack and to have proper fights. But – I did say something similar after Australia – I would never have thought it but in the end I did enjoy it.

It’s still nicer to drive an F1 car than watching it on the television. Of course from one side as I said it would be nicer to have more performance. But still you can have the fun of doing things, of going through things which most of the feelings and things what are happening now didn’t happen for many years.

It’s nice to get these feelings, it’s nice to have this special emotions and special feelings which you never get staying at home. And you still have to work and I enjoy working so I would say yes.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

This weekend’s Caption Competition winner is @JackySteeg:

Max Verstappen, Hungary, 2019

“What’s Esteban doing on that grassy knoll?”

Thanks to everyone who joined in and a special mention for Kartguy07, RP, Neil and Scalextric who all came up with great captions.

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Author information

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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  • 40 comments on “Kubica still enjoying return despite poor car”

    1. BlackJackFan
      6th May 2019, 2:28

      Caption Comment: Yes, very funny… but a bit… er… sick, maybe…?

      1. C’mon ! it’s humour, not political comment. Sig heil.

      2. Oh come on :) And grassy knoll is pretty much a pop-culture reference at this point. (some definitions on that site are definitely NSFW! I learn everyday…)

      3. okee i don’t understand it! But i don’t know what a grassy knoll is.

        1. @macleod Google John F Kennedy…

        2. @macleod – a popular conspiracy theory in John F. Kennedy’s assassination is that there was another shooter on the grassy knoll in front of his open-topped limousine (COTD draws a parallel to the open-topped car in the picture, and where Max is seated).

        3. Then this is a sick comment! I am sure Ocon can shoot Max on the track but compair JFK and Max is not done!

          1. @macleod On the contrary, this is humour. Nobody will take it literally, so no harm is done.

            1. Sometimes it is hard to see humour, expecially British.

    2. @JackySteeg – very nice caption, very different and it had me laughing out loud :)

    3. Keith – funny tweets today (percussive maintenance) and y’day (stalling).

      1. Took me back to Fawlty Towers, with Basil attacking the car with a tree branch. Right you vicious b*”!?

    4. It is amazing how some people speak about the w series as some kind of stepping stone into f1 when in reality the level of that championship is somewhere below the various national f3 series. The brightest star in that series is jamie chadwick whose best result is 8th in british f3 and 7th in asian f3 series. Regardless of gender that is nowhere near f1 ability. Even her mrf win is a championship which had like 10 drivers and only 4 did full season last time according to this:–19_MRF_Challenge_Formula_2000_Championship

      The w series makes sense for women as winning it gives them money progress their careers but it is not a good meter of skill before f1. Look at these series: F3 asian championship, F3 british championship, FIA Formula 3 Championship or W Series. Which is the toughest series and which is the easiest? The w series is the easiest to win BY FAR. Any driver who wants to be in f1 (or even f2) needs to prove him or herself in at least international f3 or f2 (or indycar or wec). W series is not that proof.

      1. Even German or Italian F4 is far more competitive than this W series.

      2. All its actually done is taken women’s racing backwards.

        Any female good enough would have more than enough financial support and opportunities in a regular series, probably even more than most males.

        There’s no need for a segragated series – its actually creating more problems than its solving!

        1. GtisBetter (@)
          6th May 2019, 13:10

          What problems are getting created, cause the way i see it, they have a lot more exposure then any other series below F2 and that can only be a good thing for them. And good woman racers are almost a fluke, so whatever we have been doing for the last decades hasn’t produced succesful woman drivers, so why not try a different approach. Maybe it works, maybe not, but at least if it doesn’t, FIA can look at other ways to encourage woman to go driving. That’s how i look at it anyway.

          1. Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
            6th May 2019, 14:35

            @passingisoverrated Not when it is patently obvious that the car is a detuned F3 car (not a representative-level F3 car as the mixed-gender series use) from watching the race, and no comparison points are available. It makes the crossover nearly impossible to judge (that anyone progressing invariably has to do), and it runs the risk of “bad publicity is worse than no publicity”.

            1. @alianora-la-canta Are you sure that the cars are detuned F3?

            2. @matthijs, calling it “a detuned F3 car” is not quite true.

              The Tatuus T-318, which is the chassis which the Formula W series uses, was homologated for use in Formula 3 series in 2018. Basically, the Formula W series is using a similar format to the Formula 3 regulations which were in force until the end of 2018, which was based around an inline four cylinder production engine – the Formula W championship uses a slightly smaller capacity engine (1.8 litres versus 2.0 litres for the old Formula 3 regulations), but because the Formula W series is turbocharged, the power output of the Formula W cars is higher than the old Formula 3 regulations (quoted as 270bhp for Formula W, versus circa 200bhp for the older Formula 3 cars).

              Meanwhile, in the run up to this year, the FIA decided to amalgamate the European Formula 3 series and GP3 into a single “FIA Formula 3 Championship”, with the intention of making it part of the FIA Global Pathway (which is the pathway that the FIA is trying to encourage aspiring drivers to go down).

              To appease the teams that were in both championships, the FIA decided that the car they would use would effectively be a hybrid of a Formula 3 car and a GP3 car – it’s basically a Formula 3 chassis that’s been bolted to the engine and transmission of a GP3 car – as a way of partially splitting the costs of the new car.

              Now, because GP3 cars used a larger capacity engine – 3.4 litres – the old GP3 cars, and the new hybridised Formula 3 car, the Dallara F3 2019, are indeed more powerful than a Formula W car, as well as being more powerful than the old Formula 3 cars (I believe the engines produced 400bhp in GP3 spec).

              However, there is the caveat that quite a lot of national series haven’t copied the FIA’s new international series and are, for now, continuing with the pre-2019 Formula 3 regulations. Therefore, saying it is “a detuned F3 car” only works if you’re comparing it to the FIA’s 2019 international series – if you were to compare it to the national Formula 3 series, the Formula W car is roughly 35% more powerful.

            3. Thank you for the insights Anon

            4. Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
              9th May 2019, 15:36

              @matthijs They are definitely F3 cars, that’s been declared many times by W Series, and I don’t see anything on the car that suggests it is anything other than an F3 car. The Taatus is in fact one of the best models of F3 car to have been devised, which itself raised alarm bells when I saw they’d be using it; a lot of the people proposed for the series didn’t have sufficient experience to use the car properly, and would have been shown up badly by the 8 or so drivers with previous F3 experience had the car been run at full pelt.

              If it’s not detuned from its natural state, then it seemed a very flat tone, rather slow (even taking the rain into consideration) and oddly little overtaking given the field’s proximity to each other. (For the record, I’m comparing it to a Taatus F3 car rather than either of the 2019-model F3 cars anon describes, because W Series didn’t say anything about its car being either of those models). However, if the engine is as different from advertised as anon indicates, this would partially explain the aural weirdness – if not the slowness and “flattening” of the field.

      3. @socksolid Initially F2 spec W series was on the table. I don’t know why and when it was downgraded but only 600 bhp cars can be considered as a credible preparation to F1. Maybe F1 wanted to keep a single antechamber to F1 but then the W series is quite useless.

        1. Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
          6th May 2019, 14:37

          Why is probably because there are people jumping straight up from karts, and even a F3 car on full power would make it obvious that not everyone in the series was capable of being there. They seem to have, by necessity, gone too far the other way and made it nearly impossible for good drivers to distinguish themselves from indifferent ones.

        2. @spoutnik, the FIA’s long term objective has been to set an explicit career path to Formula 1, so making sure Formula W wasn’t equal in performance to Formula 2 fits into that pattern.

          The FIA’s not been allowed to set an explicit career path to F1 in the past because most international regulatory bodies believed that it would give the FIA an effective monopoly on most major motorsport series, and therefore saw it as an abuse of power.

          However, when the FIA launched Formula 4 back in 2015, they made it clear that they were, and still are, firmly committed to that idea of a set career path: karting, Formula 4, Formula 3, Formula 2 and then Formula 1 in that order, with the way that the FIA awards superlicence points set up to encourage drivers down that path.

          Now, in that system, the FIA probably doesn’t want Formula W to be too far up that path – the way it has been structured makes it clear that it is intended to be a way of feeding female drivers through a similar career route, with Formula W being a series that could be a Formula 3 equivalent. It seems set up in a way that is intended to encourage women to go through that series en route into Formula 2, rather than supplant it.

          The other issue would be the cost, as the FIA is pitching Formula W as an intermediate series – producing a car with the performance specifications of a Formula 2 car would likely come with a substantial price tag to match, and price inflation has been a major issue in Formula 2 for some years now.

          Some have suggested that it might be easier for women to raise sponsorship, but there do not seem to be any academic studies into whether that is actually the case – it’s just a perception. The anecdotal evidence seems mixed on that front – some seem to think it helped, but on the other hand some think that it hasn’t helped when you take into account the male dominated viewing audience, as some products tend to do better with a male audience if presented by a man instead of a woman.

          Either way, pitching the series too far up would risk pricing most aspiring women out of the market – the attitude is to want to widen the base, and having a high cost racing series would not really help in that regard.

      4. “Which is the toughest series and which is the easiest?”

        Toughest would be the W series of course. By a country mile even. Not even Lewis Hamilton* can win it.  (* insert any F1-champion of your liking)

        1. Cheeky :)

        2. I dunno… There are times when I think Nico Rosberg would be qualified. ;)

          1. You might be on to something, I read about gearbox issues for some of the contenders so reliability is a factor…

          2. You mean Britney Rosberg, right? :) Never heard of this Nico chap.

      5. Equal pay, now!

    5. But how much longer is he going to enjoy driving at the back of the field without a chance to fight for positions on pure pace? That’s the key question/point.

    6. How long will he stay in F1 being so slow?

      1. Edit. I mean car is so slow, driver then seems slow by default. Not much he can prove there. Even if he is spectacular, who knows how good the other driver is for comparison.

        We know for example how good Bottas is in that Mercedes, He beats Lewis sometimes, and that is pretty great.

        But if Kubica is 2 tenths infront of George, what kind of benchmark is this?

        1. Russel is the current F2 champ so I’d say he is a very good benchmark.

          Robert is proving to be a couple of tenths slower in qualy/races, possibly due to the state of the cars, lack of parts etc.

          I think we need up to middle of the season to judge, but I think he’s doing better than some are saying.

          1. I agree. Look how Lando is performing this year, really well. And he was beaten by Russell last year. So we can just assume Robert is faring really well this year. If we consider that most of the year he also had a damaged floor and lack of parts, his pace shows good consistence, and he is improving lately. Let’s see by mid year how will be performing, but I’m glad he’s enjoying it despite all setbacks.

          2. On top of that I feel we are drastically overlooking the need for a driver, especially a inexperienced one (or someone that comes back after 7 years), to have a car that is adapted to him (driving style wise).

            Nowadays, teams are able to pre-set the car pretty well thanks to all the simulation and fine tune them thanks to telemetry without the driver input. Therefore even rookie have a car decently setup and we therefore expect them to deliver instantly.

            I believe this to be only true if the car is naturally in line with what the driver needs in terms of input. If not, even if the setup is “good on paper”, driver won’t be able to drive it fast. He will need time to either adapt his driving style or to adapt the car to his liking. And today we don’t give time to driver… After 2 GP, every one of them is already judge.

            Maybe we should all wait and see where Kubica stands in the second part of the season ?

        2. @jureo So far Kubica has been slower than Russel in every quali and race.

    7. Did someone watched the W series race ? (I didn’t) Was the racing good ?

      In my opinion, would be better for the FIA to invest in a few “women reserved” F2 cars of a good level and give the girl a chance to fight in the F2 field. These races gets a bit more attention, they are raced on F1 tracks often during the F1 WE (so direct observation from F1 team principals), it would be a much better training ground and against both women and men.

      I agree that he W series sends the wrong message… and competitors there are not going to learn more that in standard F3 championships. So what’s the point ? Just a marketing test to see if there is enough interest to create a “women F1” champ ?

      1. Wasn’t bad racing. The track was a bit damp, so grip was questionable. Some definite racing skill was shown, some questionable driving was also shown– at one point, I think Garcia had her front wing *under* the car in front of her– no contact, but under a foot isn’t a good idea for following distance– +5 for skill, but -10 because the slightest error would have led to a pileup. There was also a torpedo maneuver when Gilkes lost anything resembling traction, and sailed into Kimilainen at the hairpin.

        All in all, for a first race in a new series, it was OK– the race was far too short, the female commentator needs to forget she heard the phrase “ever so “, and honestly, I’d like to see the cars with about another 100 hp.

      2. The racing was pretty good. Lots of non-drs overtaking which required most drivers to find a line to pass after a few laps of trying. You can probably still watch it on repeat on channel 4, which is how I watched it. You might have to search for it, they don’t exactly have it on the front page.
        One surreal thing was to see/hear David Coulthard and Crofty from Sky collaborating as presenters.

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