Robert Kubica, Williams, Suzuka, 2019

Kubica: Williams ‘crossed boundaries” by removing new wing from car

2019 Japanese Grand Prix

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Robert Kubica says “boundaries were crossed” when Williams decided to remove its new specification front wing from his car before qualifying.

Williams ran the new wing on Friday, which Kubica said at the time was a development item intended to help guide work on its new car for the 2020 F1 season. He told Eleven Sports Poland he was pleased with the change it brought about in his car.

“Friday was very positive,” said Kubica. “For the first time in a very long time after putting on a new wing – which was not supposed to be better and it was not better or it was even worse on the other car – the situation with my car improved a lot.”

He was therefore dismayed to learn the team would not use the wing today.

“For some strange reasons the wing was removed [off my car] before qualifying,” he said. “I think this decision was not connected with [what was going on at] the track, it had more to do with other choices. That’s it.”

Kubica subsequently crashed during Sunday morning’s postponed qualifying session. “I made a mistake in qualifying,” he said. “I think I should have played it in a different way.

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Williams, Suzuka, 2019
Kubica tested a different front wing design on Friday
“The conditions were tough and on top of that I had different power steering on Friday so the feeling on steering wheel was completely different. I was convinced that I would make this corner without problems but suddenly I ran out of road. That’s it.”

He praised his mechanics for doing a “fantastic job before the race” to build a new chassis for him to drive. “Unfortunately not everything depends on them. It’s a shame.”

At the previous race Williams retired Kubica’s car after his team mate George Russell crashed out, citing a need to save parts. Kubica, who has already announced he will not return to drive for Williams again in 2020, said this latest episode has changed his view of the situation.

“This Sunday morning helped me to understand things properly. I had been already aware of certain things but this morning some boundaries were crossed.

“We have 20 sessions [on track] left this year so let’s hope that some things will be resolved – although, as I say, this early morning before qualifying was very telling to me.”

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Keith Collantine
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87 comments on “Kubica: Williams ‘crossed boundaries” by removing new wing from car”

  1. Kubrica honestly should be grateful williams gave him a drive no other team would have. He has to face it he will never be as fast as he was before the accident

    1. manoli moraitis
      13th October 2019, 17:24

      a drive isn’t a favour, you’re really have things wrong in your head. Plus, there are very few drivers that would have been so graceful with Williams’ dismal show this season. Add to this that Kubica has sacrificed plenty to drive in F1 again.

      1. A drive is so much a favour that half the grid pays millions for a drive.
        Kubica should be grateful. He’s extremely talented, and super good for sure, and honestly I think it’s just that he didn’t drive an F1 car for so long that makes him slower now. Not his injury. But he should be grateful.

        1. His injury plays a big part in his current speed, although I agree the time away and also aging are factors as well.

        2. You believe into British media propaganda, Williams is favoring George Russel from the beginning – there is no doubt about this. My opinion was that he will be slower than everyone else because of his hand and I wanted Sirotkin to drive, but I changed my opinion and I can clearly see that he is good enough to drive in F1 and he is better than many drivers. In a decent car, he will score points regularly.

      2. He was a great driver in his prime at Hamiltons level for sure but spending so long away from the sport and his injury he can’t honestly believe he was in for a comeback. It was a great story him coming back to drive but he has to be realistic

        1. @carlosmedrano Come on mate Heidfeld was just as quick more often than not the stats back that up are you serious. Or isit because he won a race lol…

          1. All these apologists for Williams…the FIA is doing THEM a favour allowing them to even be on the grid. They are broke and have the shiftiest management on the grid. Juggling parts between cars just to keep the lights on. What a joke. They are an embarrassment.

      3. You’re the one who has it wrong. Kubica is being a diva. Robert has been slow, some get sacked before the end of their contract.
        Finally, after spending so much time in f1 and with williams you would expect his english to be a bit better.

    2. @carlosmedrano Kubica’s sponsors paid a ton of money to enable Kubica to drive. So it makes sense his sponsors aren’t happy with all this. And therefore Kubica.

      Besides, the poor guy is getting crushed by a rookie. He was never that impressive (barely better than Heidfeld or actually less than Heidfeld for most of their time together), but his performance at Williams surely ended his F1 career for good. His looking for some good performances to help him land at least a drive in a different category and he needs all the help he can get.

      1. Believe me… we understand Robert’s situation in Williams and his sponsor too. Kubica is not the problem. Problem is Williams.
        Kubica is not crushed by rookie – if you go deep enough to compare and understand all factors, you would understand that Kubica is faster than Russel. What Williams is doing is covering this fact as much as possible – why? Because of engine deal – but Toto Wolf will not let Russel to drive Mercedes because he is average driver. Kubica in the same/equal car is able to crush golden boy. Toto Wolf knows the truth and Russel stuck in Williams for 3 years… and man… Kubica in his prime was doing things more spectacular than Verstrepen now… That’s why Kubica has contract with Ferrari before his accident. Russel will not have contract with any good team ever. Deal with it.

        1. Kubica had* contract with Ferrari.

        2. LOL, you had me at this joke

          if you go deep enough to compare and understand all factors, you would understand that Kubica is faster than Russel.

          That’s just too funny.

          Kubica barely beat Heidfeld for one season. The other two seasons even Heidfeld was beating Kubica. But I guess Kubica is just really good at looking bad.

    3. Completely disagree Carlos. Williams are not a charity and Kubica is not a recipient of a gift for which he should be grateful. Kubica is giving a year of his working life and his sponsors are giving a lot of their money to Williams.

      1. +1, George. I expect lawyers to be sat at a table in the coming days.

    4. If Robert say he can – means he can. He never lies. He is honest with himself and other people. That’s why he is so special. Robert said that: He need time to cut those 0.3 sec which makes difference between average driver and best driver – it takes time – but it is possible. If Robert saying something like that – means it is true. He never cheats people and himself. He has stable ego, and he is emotional free from “stupidity that makes other stars brilliant”.

      1. @vayha

        He need time to cut those 0.3 sec which makes difference between average driver and best driver

        The problem is, he hasn’t even found the 0.3sec he needs to catch up to a Rookie.

      2. Kubica is a horrible person. He just doesn’t perform when he doesn’t feel like it. He also treats his team mates like dirt.

        All the nonsense about Williams giving Russell better equipment. Then Kubica gets to drive Russell’s car and he still just as much slower

        Just face it, Kubica was a decent mid field driver once in a very fast car with a lucky win. That’s where it ended.

    1. Not yet. George is slower than Robert and Williams is doing everything to cover that… but specialists know the truth as Toto Wolf. Your golden boy Russel is product of marketing and propaganda… that’s why Toto will not give him Mercedes. Why? Because he is not on that level. Ocon who was beaten by Perez seems to be more worth for Toto than golden boy. Even with two different cars, engine mapping etc. we can compare them. Golden boy is worst than Robert and Williams can do everything but will not cover that. Golden boy stacked for 3 years in Williams :) good luck

      1. Apart from waffle what have you based that on?

        1. I’m a massive fan of Kubica too. But this guy is actually nuts.

  2. You have to have a flat earther-like fact denial attitude to keep believing this team is handling their drivers with fairness and transparency.

    1. I didn’t get, you would prefer him destroying this new promising wing (during today’s crash), rather than the team using it again for further development?

      Neither you, nor I know what was promised or not about this wing, but as the news appeared during the weekend – it seems they are just testing, there wasn’t a fixed plan to race it… especially considering their well-known shortage of parts.

    2. @hoku, the thing is, we’re really only getting Kubica’s side of the story here – and, to some extent, I am a little wary as there is an incentive for Kubica to stir things up on this front to distract attention from the “lack of attention” he admitted to when he crashed in qualifying.

      1. New wing is just part of the story. You could see it for couple of GPs now, it’s just recently Rob has less to loose to talk in public about this, and if you know him, he’s usually the last to wash dirty linen in public. So if he is now starting to be open – you’re right, we see only a very limited part of this farce.

        1. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
          13th October 2019, 19:00

          It’s not helpful though. He just says something is wrong and can’t say more. This means everybody is going to speculate and most likely will be wrong. Not that I blame him. It must be frustrating for him.

          1. Williams is broke, juggling parts between cars just to keep the lights on. What other team would show up with only one new wing on a GP weekend? So scared it might get damaged they take it off his car for the race. Pathetic! Worst management on the grid. Honestly, don’t you think it’s time for Clare to go?

          2. Smee, since you ask, it’s fairly common for teams to test a new component in a free practise session only and to produce a single part because they are cycling it between drivers for feedback.

            For example, Ferrari did something similar earlier this year, mainly because they wanted to validate parts of the design on track before pursuing that development path in the wind tunnel. There was also the case of Red Bull being furious with Gasly for his crash during the final pre-season test, as they had only produced one set of upgraded parts to be used in Australia – parts which Gasly promptly wrecked when he crashed, which caused significant disruption to Red Bull’s development plans.

    3. No they haven’t treated both drivers equally and there isn’t enough sky sports defending to refute that. Robert has been so slow that this was inevitable, the team doesn’t have the money for charity.

    4. Hehe, flat-earth level of denial! :D What a good joke.

      But yes George is a clear #1, Kubica is there for the money(that he is bringing) and comeback story.

      Overall good thing for him that he is gone for next year. Also good for Williams if he is that slow. If George is that fast then also good for Williams.

      It is hard to compare drivers when everything is so off pace. Car teammate, poor parts situation. Who knows what is going on. Maybe just the car doesn’t suit him (he got the correct steering wheel like last race !?!??)..

      In any case it is far from fairytale comeback.

      1. George in no.1 because he is british and he is suppoerted by Willliams… but overall after you analyze all factors – he is slower than Robert now. Williams is doing everything to cover that but after all… Kubica has 1 point and golden boy has not. Toto Wolf knows the truth. Russel is slower and he will never give him Mercedes – instead he will prefere Ocon who lost with Perez.

        1. Russel was only slow this time, Robert got his steering wheel he should have at the beginning. But I am sure George was slow because he didn’t know the circuit.

          But the front wing was helping Robert as the car startign working for him.

          1. Please help us “analyse all the factors” in a purely objective manner:

        2. Yes, please. What are these factors you talk about. Provide some proof instead of this BS you keep repeating.
          You’re just a pathetic Kubica fanatic that can’t bring himself to believe he is just plain slow now. Maybe you’ll start to see it next year when Robert gets crushed in whatever motorsport he will end up in.

          I believe Kubica is just desperately trying to keep alive the delusion that he is still quick to get maybe another year in motorsport in some series. And he is doing that by excusing his deficit to Russel by the team sabotaging him.
          His right arm isn’t even good for scrathing his ass, let alone be any use in a fast car where sometimes even 2 working hands aren’t enough. He’s delusional.

    5. They went through heaps of trouble to demonstrate that they are giving Kubica exactly the same equipment as Russell.

      Kubica drove Russell’s car and he was still slower.

      I guess Kubica is good for the sponsor though. He drives so slowly that the logo can be read better…

  3. One year ago, Kubica was viewed almost by anyone has a lost talent. A good guy, with a very unlucky accident that destroyed his career. Today, Kubica is the worst driver in F1, and with some lack in sportsmanship and team work in his last comments. Today, again, with the same strategy and without any particular issue, he finished the race 88 seconds behind his rookie team-mate. It’s hard to figure how much is 88 seconds, but to give an idea the difference between Russel and Ricciardo (in 6th) was only 80 seconds.

    This amount of gap frequently between team-mates in normal circumstances is something that we don’t see in F1 probably since Alex Yoong Vs Webber/Alonso

    1. I can tell you exactly how much 88 seconds is:
      this is what happens, when a team, which retired a car in the previous race because of a lack of spare parts has to build a car from a new chassis in less than three hours. After all we have seen from Williams this year, to expect them to be able to build an identical car under those circumstances is just plain silly.

      1. @uzsjgb Yes it was incredibly stupid for Kubica to have this “lack of attention” and then put his car in the wall. For what? He will be last anyway, so what’s his problem?

      2. In other races before he also end up more than a minute behind russel, was also Williams fault?
        Williams did a lot of mistakes, trusting Kubica to drive was one of them, Kubica is not good enough even for a pay driver.

        1. Ambrogio Isgro
          13th October 2019, 20:12

          But without Kubica money they were already failed. And nobody else pay them so much money to run last.
          Stroll’s father bought Force India for his son, not Williams.
          Hopefully someone will buy it

          1. They could have opted for Sirotkin’s money instead?

            Unfortunately Williams felt they needed the biggest paying driver rather than a paying driver with also the best qualifications.

            This mentality is what’s destroying the team though.

  4. Yep, George is faster no doubt about it, but if two driver have in quali 0,1-0,2 between them and 7days (or even session to session) later it’s 1,5-1,7 and you think it’s drivers related, you need to change sport. That would be very selective amnesia ;)
    People wearing pink glasses believing that Williams is anything more than HRT of it’s times, I envy you. I wish to see world as simple as you.

    1. In what races this season did Kubica drive 0.1 in average behind Russell in race craft? Very few, the more common was more than a second.

    2. @nocturnis Kubica is one of those diva drivers who simply fails to perform when he doesn’t feel like it. Has always been the case.

    3. 0,1 – 0,2 ? Have you seen the gap in the first part of the season when there were no problems with parts and they even swapped the cars? Kubica is miles behind and Russell.

      1. Because they got different cars. Russel is miles behind Grosjean. Robert is faster than Russel if you compare all factors from beginning of season.

        1. They actually swapped cars and Russel still crushed Kubica

          1. They have never swapped the cars…

  5. Robert, you are better than that.
    Just do the job, enjoy, and have a bright future.

    Or you just want to paint Williams as a bad team?
    Maybe they are (I don’t know), but do you need that? And to show everyone that you are not much better either?

    Stupid.

    1. After the last few races, he clearly isn’t better than that.

      Maybe he believes his fans a little too much when it comes to the conspiracy nonsense.

  6. Kubica has jumped the shark here. Time to depart honourably, not as a whingeing paranoid hulk.

  7. “For some strange reasons the wing was removed [off my car] before qualifying,” he said.

    Kubica subsequently crashed during Sunday morning’s postponed qualifying session.

    Just as well the team didn’t send you out with the expensive new wing then!

    At the previous race Williams retired Kubica’s car after his team mate George Russell crashed out, citing a need to save parts. Kubica, who has already announced he will not return to drive for Williams again in 2020, said this latest episode has changed his view of the situation.

    “This Sunday morning helped me to understand things properly.”

    Yes, we get it, the subtext here is pretty clear: he believes the team regards him as a liability. Well, F1 is a team sport, and the best way to handle that is to prove them wrong rather than making snide comments. Unfortunately, it appears that isn’t an option.

    1. Just as well the team didn’t send you out with the expensive new wing then!

      They have foreseen this in a cristal ball ;D For sure it would be just the same if they would leave the setup from Friday.

      Or maybe not. Mate, get real if the driver tells the team, he’s good with car setup and this setup changes, apparently without the driver’s knowledge and without additional practice session before qualifications, then you have to agree – it raises the possibility of this driver to make a mistake on a demanding circuit like Suzuka. Yes, the driver was at fault, but the team made the situation more rather than less challenging – and that’s what echos in Robert’s comments.

      Williams supporters should be grateful for someone having guts to shed some light on the sorry state of your beloved team. It will prepare you better for things to come, rather than polite Sirtokin who probably as Robert got the shorter end of the stick.

      Do you really think that it’s in anyone’s interest not to try to be the best in F1? No one is sabotaging anyone here, it’s just a very bad situation for everyone to be in and tough decisions had to be made by the team – someone had to suffer more than the other. It worked for a while, but now toward the end of the season, even sucha a team player like George Russell is voicing his complaints on the mishandling of the race car.

      Williams is just very bad in 2019, even worse than a year before, that’s all that Robert tells you here.

    2. Wing makes different. Power steering makes different. What Williams is doing is dangerous for Kubica’s life and other drivers. But it is happening through all season. He is testing parts for Russel only – Kubica is only one drier who is not performing, improving after practice sessions – why? Do you believe he is just forgetting how to drive from one day to another? People. Wake up. Williams has no money to keep two cars… so they invest only in Russel’s car. This is parody of F1.

  8. SanFran (@andrewfrancis80)
    13th October 2019, 19:07

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it fairly routine for teams to evaluate new parts on Friday practice sessions and then go back to the old spec on Saturday (or in this case Sunday due to Saturday being cancelled) Due to limited testing in modern F1??

    Especially a team that must be focusing firmly on 2020.

  9. So which was it? Revised power steering assistance or the different wing?

    Embarassing for Robert. They should draft Latifi in for the remaining races of the year.

  10. Nothing that comes from Williams surprises me anymore. Since Massa left, they only rolled more and more into the deep.
    Signing Kubica is one of these things. Renault gave him a shot and dismissed him because he couldn’t drive on par with other drivers with two functional arms.

    I respect the guy a lot for what he has been through, and what he had to do to make his return possible, but his career in F1 is done since 2011. Williams only took him cuz they’ve got no one else and is in desperate need of money.

    He made his return, scored a point, has already announced he is leaving. It’s time to let these things go.

    1. Renault didn’t give him seat because of engine deal. They didn’t want to risk too… but major reason was engine deal.

      1. Rubbish. He’s clearly nowhere near the level of Hulk, Ocon, RICCIARDO, Sainz for god sake. Renault may be lacking in many areas but driver talent is not one of them. Kubica now is Jolyon Palmer level and they moved on from that some time ago.

        1. He had no tool to show his performance. William’s 88 is parody of car. His race engineer is lost like kid in the mist. William’s gave him something which looks like F1 car but it isn’t. I hope we will see him in next season in some comparable car.

        2. Actually Palmer was faster than Kubica…

  11. Oh get real, Robert. They removed the new wing from George’s car just before the race too; so it’s not as if they shafted you, in favour of him. Plus trialing parts on Friday before reverting to old-spec on Sundays is common practice for teams. Especially at the end of the season, when they’re focusing on developing parts for the following year. Grief.

  12. If Williams can’t get ahead of two or three teams next season I think it’s game over. FW will sell. At the very least CW would have to go.

  13. Kubica is becoming rather annoying now. Slagging Williams off every race weekend has now become a habit.

    1. You are joking right? If team do not warn him about changes… omg… what he can do? but it’s not about Suzuka. It’s about all season. They do not care – for example in Russia they didn’t prepare his car for racing – even if he asked about few changes. In this situation driver has no chance with team. This sport is about tens of hundredths of a second. Williams is acting like no F1 team.

      1. If team do not warn him about changes

        But they did. He knew on Friday that they would only be running the test front wing during Friday practice.
        https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/146519/williams-trials-experimental-front-wing-in-practice?_ga=2.188041576.1366977532.1570997170-1814294433.1525890655

        The new wing will not remain on the car for the rest of the weekend, as Williams only has one for this round.

  14. Well it certainly does tell you one thing – if Williams thought putting that wing on would make the car worse but it actually made it better, it suggests they haven’t figured out what is wrong with their current car at all. I guess the hope is they aren’t even trying to and are purely focused on next year’s car.

    1. I’m not sure it’s actually made the car better generally, but it may have made the car more to Kubica’s liking. It sounds like Russell has run that wing already, and found it at best neutral.

      Kubica seems to have spent a large part of the year believing there’s something distinctly different about his chassis (or car overall), despite them switching chassis between him and Russell with no performance change visible and Russell saying he felt no difference. This may have felt like vindication to him, or maybe he just really wanted to keep using something that he felt better about. Regardless, complaining about using a development part in free practice, but returning to the normal race part for qualifying and the race is a bit weak. In his favour, going into qualifying with a setup he hasn’t run at this track, while perhaps understandable with FP3 cancelled, is not ideal.

      I think he has a legitimate complaint that he had no time in free practice to drive the car he’d use to qualify, but no grounds to complain that he was set to qualify without the 2020 development part, no matter how much he liked it.

    2. @petebaldwin

      I guess the hope is they aren’t even trying to and are purely focused on next year’s car.

      They are, They were very clear on Thursday/Friday that it was a wing design looking towards 2020 & they just wanted to gather some data to validate the wind tunnel/CFD data.

      It wasn’t that they didn’t expect it to add performance to the current car but more that it wasn’t there aim to do so given how it isn’t a 2019 part & therefore wasn’t something they ever planned to run beyond practice (Hence why they only have one of them).

  15. Did Russell race with the new wing? If not, what on earth is he moaning about?

    Get used to being kept in the dark, as an outgoing member of a team they are not going to share anything meaningful with you

  16. Mark in Florida
    13th October 2019, 23:11

    I feel for Robert really I do. He is frustrated to no end with this crappy car that Williams has vomited forth. Add to that he knows that the dream is all over for him but lo and behold Williams bolts on a wing for next year’s car and it makes this year’s car better! Is it any wonder that he is mad that they removed it? Also I’m pretty sure that Roberts sponsors are paying for his ride to the tune of enough money to put him in this car. So Robert will move on to something else. If it’s anywhere near competitive he’ll probably do well. Best of luck to you, allow some other cash waster to take your pitiful ride. Williams has one of the top engine’s in the sport but they aren’t even close to Racing Point a non storied team with no racing heritage to call on. Is it any wonder they are a pay driver stopping point?

    1. Imagine if Williams had a decent car though. Then Kubica’s performances would be even more apparent. Now Russell and he are both last and that one minute difference is not visible. If Russell finishes in the points and Kubica is one minute behind then the embarrassment would be much worse for Kubuca

  17. I just thank the Big Banana that he wont be there next year

  18. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Robert.

  19. For years I had nothing but respect for Kubica, but this piece gave me huge flashbacks to 2013, when Williams had Bottas and Maldonado driving for them. Kinda of a paralel situation, with one driver being a young ‘future champion material’ (as Claire stated on many occasions) and one with the big money behind him. And by the end of a season, Maldonado used to talk quite frequently about being treated unfairly within the team. I had never thought, that I’d be comparing Kubica to Maldonado…

    1. I think we all saw a similar situation when Jenson Button failed to respect a similarly whinging Jacques Villeneuve in a Benneton Renault and beat him on points over the season.

      The Williams is unarguably the slowest car this season and sadly the less competitive Robert Kubica has been beaten either 16 – 1 or 17 – 0 in qualifying by George Russell so far this year. In several races Robert has come close to being lapped by him.

      Is it really a surprise the team are concentrating on next years car?

  20. Kubica complains about the Williams car being bad (and it is), but that was probably the best thing that happened to him.
    His second a lap average on race craft is not visible when both are in the last two positions. If the car was at least as better as a Haas, it would be shameful for him to see Russell fighting for points while he was always dead last.

    1. This is purely nonsense.

      First of all, worth mentioning they started the season with both drivers stating that they are not interested in fighting each other for 19th place in an undrivable car, and that they will do everything to make it work for both of them before they start racing.

      Some 17 races later the car is still undrivable, but the most common radio message from George is “gap to Robert”. Apparently someone has shifted his interests.

      I can bet my house that Rob does not give a damn about the gap as long as he does not feel his “car” is safe to be pushed to at least 90% of the limit.

      And guess what, the first time this year he admitted the car felt good and he could push and explore, was with new wing in Japan, where he was 0.1 faster than George.

      And then, 2 days later, he’s given different wing and different steering for qualifying.

      I was refusing the conspiracies shared by Kubica’s ultra fans for months, but this is no longer a conspiracy.

      1. @hoku It makes perfect sense. Kubica is massively slower than Russell. If they were in a mid field car, Kubica’s poor performance would be much more visible.

      2. @hoku,bicia swapped chassis

        I don’t want to disillusion you more that what is already fact. At a test earlier this year, Russell was swapped into the Kubica chassis and the time difference was the same, Russell was faster. When Russell drove the Mercedes in one of the test sessions, he was matching Hamilton and Bottas for pace.

        It is not the alleged implausible concept of Williams giving him a slower car. (No team has any reason to do that, let alone one with annually a £250 million smaller budget than Mercedes, Ferrari & Red Bull teams.)

        Kubica is slower than Russell, I believe the reasons are
        1: time away from racing in any Formula car
        2: his physical injuries/limitations.

  21. Anyone that actually believes that the team are intentionally trying to hinder Robert are frankly mad because that ain’t how that team works & is certainly not something any of those mechanics/engineer’s who all generally love Robert would actually do even if asked.

    The front wing was a test item been trialed for the 2020 car, It was never designed for or meant to be raced on the 2019 car & that is something they made perfectly clear before the weekend. They wanted to test it to validate the data for 2020, Nothing more. Both drivers were aware of this before the weekend & both of them knew full well neither of them would be running it beyond Friday not simply because they only had one of them but more because again it isn’t aimed at the 2019 car.

  22. Let’s hold a pre-emptive vigil for Williams as they lose brain cells every race weekend.

  23. I am a great fan of Kubica, but his performance has been faded after injury.

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