Robert Kubica, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Williams couldn’t verify Kubica’s chassis concern

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

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Williams has not been able to confirm Robert Kubica’s impression that the two FW42 chassis it produced for the start of the season performed very differently.

Following the first race weekend of the year Kubica said he and team mate George Russell “are driving two different cars on the same set-up.”

However team principal Claire Williams says they are “still trying to get to the bottom of that.”

“I know Robert has thought that the floors were slightly different. We haven’t been able to clearly demonstrate through scans that we’ve done that they are. But clearly if a driver is telling you that he believes one if different then we’ve got to get to the bottom of that which we’re trying to do at the moment.”

Williams’ efforts to understand Kubica’s feedback have been complicated by the damage Russell suffered during practice for the previous race.

“The feeling that Robert had around that floor was the floor that was on George’s [car] during the Baku manhole cover incident. So that’s effectively gone.

“But the chassis, are far as we’re concerned, themselves, they’re identical.”

The team will attempt a fix this weekend for another problem Kubica has urged them to address.

“There are a number [of problems] around mechanical in particular that we’ve understood. We have a particular issue with our brakes system that we believe we’ve found a solution to but again we’ve got to wait until we run that solution tomorrow and then we’ll understand whether we’ve resolved that problem. If we can fix that and then some of the other mechanical issues that we’re looking at at the moment then we’ll be in better shape.

“But clearly the aero programme, to deliver performance from an aero perspective, is ongoing.”

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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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18 comments on “Williams couldn’t verify Kubica’s chassis concern”

  1. The only hope for Williams for this season is if they discover that their issues are caused by their cars being out of the tire window, and somehow their new aero package help them heating the tires properly to unlock performance. Otherwise, they should start the 2020 car now.

    1. Yeah, they need to stop wasting time/energy/effort and money trying to please Kubica and his myriad of excuses and figure out where they went wrong and focus getting it right for 2020. Kubica’s crash bill has exceeded his sponsorship, get rid of him and get a younger driver with some big money.

      1. You don’t have to be his fan, but putting all blaim on him is not fair to. Russell is struggling to, and when they fitted Kubicas car floor on his car, he was slower than Kubica so that was proof of his point.

      2. Exactly. Kubica, at first, felt refreshing in his candour. But now it’s clear that he’s only justifying his poor performance compared to Russell.

        1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
          10th May 2019, 9:21

          Kubica is just feeling the pressure of time. Russell is young, knows he’s good, is under Mercedes’ radar, he can accept more easily this situation and even use it in his favor. He knows he’ll have opportunities after this one. Williams will need a lot of time to rebuild (look at McLaren, factoring how many good sponsorships they have), and Kubica depends on Williams to do something decent in F1, even if it’s just collecting a point: no one will sign him after this experience. I know he’s a though guy but everyone feels pressure.

    2. They are not fast anywhere on the track in any situation, its not a tire issue…

    3. They are behind on so many levels. Key one from development point of view, mentioned already last year is correlation between simulation and reality. With limited testing now days they don’t have tools to develop 2020 car.
      They are the only team who hasn’t brought major areo updates this year….

  2. The headline had me concerned, but the following statement from Claire is a more balanced and reassuring one:

    But clearly if a driver is telling you that he believes one if different then we’ve got to get to the bottom of that which we’re trying to do at the moment

    Why can’t we go back to the days when a headline was a “TL;DR” for the article, not something inflammatory?

    1. People wont click on those links.

    2. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      10th May 2019, 9:13

      @phylyp I’m too nostalgic of the “good old times” of F1 Fanatics. Nowadays you see these clickbaity titles and more poor filler articles. But we have to accept the fact that to have people like @dieterrencken or @scarbs in the team the site needs to generate more revenues compared to the past. I assume the people donating is pretty much the same percentage and it also takes time for someone to become aficionado and start donating. That means advertising, that means clicks, that means baits… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1. @m-bagattini – very good points, particularly the dependence on ad revenue instead of subscribers. Thank you.

  3. Can’t they just swap cars for FP1 and see what happens?

    1. @eurobrun
      Firstly the floor in question is destroyed so noone can drive it now.
      Secondly, no they cant swap cars because of all the limitations on tires, power units and whatnot. What they can do is swap part like the floor and even the entire chassi between the drivers but thats a full rebuild of two cars and takes time.
      Sauber eventually swapped chassis between their drivers a few seasons ago after Felipe Nasr had constantly complained about it. It didnt make any difference…

      1. @rethla fair point. I’d forgotten just how tight the regulations are on that Gone are the days of the #1 driver jumping into the 2nd car!
        Although surely something they could still do in the post race test if they wanted? But that would probably eat up unnecessary time and mess up test driver allocations.
        It was the Sauber instance that I could loosely remember, but couldn’t remember the outcome.

      2. @rethla – wasn’t there a time (end of 2016 or end of 2017), when TR did a bunch of driver swaps, and it finally turned out that one of their drivers had actually ended up swapping into the other car at the end of the musical chairs? I might be misremembering, though.

      3. @rethla
        According to Autosport, Williams have swapped their chassis around:
        I think Kubica has the one that was new for Russell in Baku and Russell has the one Kubica had from the start of the season.
        I think…
        But as you say, swapped ‘chassis’ rather than ‘car’.

        1. @eurobrun
          What a mess. Thanks for the link.

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