Robert Kubica, Alfa Romeo, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Kubica heads test with Alfa Romeo’s best time so far

2020 F1 season

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Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica was quickest as F1 testing resumed at the Circuit de Catalunya.

[f1tv2020testa]Kubica, who has joined the team from Williams, lowered their best time of the test so far with a lap of 1’16.942 during his morning’s running in the car. He handed over to race driver Kimi Raikkonen at the lunch break, but his time remained unbeaten during the afternoon’s running.

Red Bull had a quiet start to the day but Max Verstappen had a busy afternoon, covering more than a race distance. He also found time for two harmless spins.

The latter came with just five minutes to go and, unusually, coincided with Daniil Kvyat stopping his AlphaTauri elsewhere on the track. Those two stoppages brought out the red flags and meant the session came to an early end.

Kvyat set the fourth-quickest time behind Sergio Perez, with his team mate Pierre Gasly less than a tenth of a second behind him. Alexander Albon was sixth having, like Gasly, missed much of the morning’s action due to technical problems on his car.

The Mercedes drivers put another 179 laps on the W11 between them, though the overall pace-setters of pre-season testing so far didn’t trouble the top of the times all day. They were split by Lance Stroll, while Sebastian Vettel completed the top 10 after spinning his Ferrari in the morning.

All bar two of the regular race drivers were in action today: Only Antonio Giovinazzi and Kevin Magnussen did no running as all the teams bar Haas used two different drivers. The only driver to spend a full day in his car was Romain Grosjean, who covered 107 laps for Haas.

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Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
188Robert KubicaAlfa RomeoC391’16.94253C5
233Max VerstappenRed BullRB161’17.3470.40584C3
311Sergio PerezRacing PointRP201’17.4280.48684C3
426Daniil KvyatAlphaTauriAT011’17.4560.51461C3
510Pierre GaslyAlphaTauriAT011’17.5400.59825C4
623Alexander AlbonRed BullRB161’17.5500.60829C2
744Lewis HamiltonMercedesW111’17.5620.62089C2
818Lance StrollRacing PointRP201’17.7870.84543C3
977Valtteri BottasMercedesW111’18.1001.15890C3
105Sebastian VettelFerrariSF10001’18.1131.17184C3
113Daniel RicciardoRenaultRS201’18.2141.27253C2
1255Carlos Sainz JnrMcLarenMCL351’18.2211.27946C3
1316Charles LeclercFerrariSF10001’18.2441.30280C3
146Nicholas LatifiWilliamsFW431’18.3001.35848C4
1563George RussellWilliamsFW431’18.5351.59359C3
168Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-201’18.6701.728107C3
174Lando NorrisMcLarenMCL351’18.8261.88457C2
187Kimi RaikkonenAlfa RomeoC391’19.5152.57351C3
1931Esteban OconRenaultRS201’21.5424.60074C2

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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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12 comments on “Kubica heads test with Alfa Romeo’s best time so far”

  1. Good job Robert :)

  2. Ocon is often tasked with doing weird things, the other day he was lapping the track exclusively off line.

  3. Kubica – the guy who, as Williams implied, “did not understand the tires.” Yup, clearly, he is old, clueless, and slower than Russell.

    1. It means nothing as it was a time set on the softest tires on a 3 lap obvious low fuel qualifying sim.

      He’s literally the only driver to have gone for that today as everyone else was doing longer runs on harder compounds.

      1. So did Kimi last week… He had even less fuel…. And yet Kubica was faster. :l

    2. Pete, as others have noted, Kubica seems to have set that time in a single qualifying stint on the softest compound when most rival teams set their best times during extended stints, suggesting that fuel loads seem to have played a fairly significant factor.

      It is notable that some other drivers, tyre compound corrected, look like they could have been a fair bit faster than Kubica too. It might be a bit of a let down, but Lance Stroll was virtually matching Kubica’s sector times in the first two sectors of the lap, despite using a tyre two grades harder than that of Kubica.

      Equally, there were reports that the windspeed picked up quite considerable in the afternoon session, with the track becoming noticeably slower – Tobias Gruner, from AMuS, said he’d been told the track was about 0.6s slower in the afternoon. Now, Kvyat and Perez went on to set lap times during that afternoon session which were only around 0.5s off Kubica’s time, both of which were set on harder compound tyres – the fact they were getting that close in what is reported as being less favourable conditions and with harder compound tyres does cast Kubica’s time in a bit of a different light.

  4. One other thought – this was the third fastest time of testing to date. Yes, it’s just testing, but compare it to the 2019 insinuations that Kubica was old, handicapped, and obviously outclassed by Russell (despite passing Russell at the start of almost every race). Or Williams’ insinuations that Kubica has no more performance in him. Considering how much Kubica is liked and respected at Alfa Romeo (aka “former Sauber”) as well as at Ferrari, I would not be surprised if this wasn’t a big “in your face, Williams” from both of these teams. For instance, Ferrari allowing Alfa to run with a few hundreds extra RPMs on their engine this time around…

    1. Imagine how fast Russel would have been in that Alfa! Probably about a second faster again.

      1. Remind me how many points had fast Russell. Last year. :)

      2. Imagine how two seconds would make Russel look much better in Toto’s eyes. Give Russel this Alfa seat Kubica!

      3. Yea but this is not English team and Russell would have second class parts with funny brakes and he would be second slower than Robert :)
        Remember then Magnussen sign for Hass when he was in Renault ? Suddenly Palmer !!! was faster than him.

  5. It’s all down to the softer tires and it’s made just for the sponsors and blablabla… who cares. This is actually very nice to see. Think about this guy, what he has endured. This is a nice little awesome thing, it made me smile.

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