Robert Kubica: Williams F1 team lucky spares issue didn't hit sooner

Robert Kubica says Williams managed to cover its issue with a lack of key spares for its 2019 Formula 1 car until George Russell's Russian Grand Prix crash

Robert Kubica: Williams F1 team lucky spares issue didn't hit sooner

That incident prompted Williams to withdraw Kubica's car from the race.

Kubica also distanced himself from sponsor PKN Orlen, which last week issued a statement saying that it had asked Williams for clarification about Kubica's retirement at Sochi and hinting at potential contractual issues.

Russell crashed in the race due to a wheel retention issue. Because he had suffered damage to two front wings in incidents with other cars in the preceding Singapore GP, Williams feared that it might be left short of parts in Japan should Kubica also have an incident in the Russian race. He was therefore called in and retired shortly after Russell's crash.

Asked by Autosport if the team should have just let him race to the flag, Kubica replied: "Well, yeah, you say something which makes sense, I would say.

"It was a bit disappointing from a driver's point of view because we have been in this situation, or at least in races where somehow there is always a risk, but also there is a driver who knows exactly what the situation is.

"I think I did pretty well during all the year to - let's say - save the car as much as you can.

"But I think on the other hand you have to react to the situation we are in and probably from the team's perspective this was the right choice.

"But it's a bit disappointing, especially that it's not the first race of the season, and we have been doing F1 for a pretty long time.

"Of course we were unfortunate with George losing two front wings in Singapore and one in Russia, but still it's racing and it can happen, and I think we were pretty lucky that it happened so late in the season, because probably we would have faced the same problem of Russia earlier in the season.

"As a team we have to react to what happened, and hopefully it will not happen again."

Kubica said he had no issue with the fact that his Sochi race was compromised despite the wing damage occurring on his team-mate's car.

"In the end it's a team outcome, and it could happen to me," he said.

"I think we were very lucky, because a first lap accident could happen to you every time - you don't know, you have no control over the others.

"Together with George we have been lucky all the season to not do silly things or to limit silly things, and we were able to, let's say, hide the problem for a pretty long time.

"But unfortunately Singapore and Russia showed up that we were not ready for what is called the risk of motorsport and racing, because in the end nothing strange happened - we just lost a couple of front wings. Which might happen every weekend."

Kubica insisted that he did not know if PKN Orlen was happy with the response it received from the team after a PR spokesman posted a message saying that the company had questioned Williams over the reason for the retirement.

"You'd have to ask my sponsor. Well, not even my sponsor, a sponsor," he said.

"If you asked me what I think and what my feeling is, there is nothing really to add.

"I don't have to be happy with the response Orlen got, I don't know what response they got."

Asked if he was surprised by Orlen's intervention he said: "I don't know, I'm not surprised about anything in this world.

"So it's not surprising. I don't know where it came from. I think asking for clarification is correct, I would say.

"But I honestly don't know, I'm not involved in this."

shares
comments
Ferrari's Vettel, Leclerc "clear" on F1 team orders after talks
Previous article

Ferrari's Vettel, Leclerc "clear" on F1 team orders after talks

Next article

F1 drivers want "clear" Japanese GP qualifying move call on Friday

F1 drivers want "clear" Japanese GP qualifying move call on Friday
Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Plus

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

OPINION: At the Williams 2023 Formula 1 season launch, Alex Albon’s easy-going nature was again a point of focus. But does being “too nice” really matter in modern F1? Albon’s own expressions put that in an intriguing new light

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues Plus

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues

Alfa Romeo has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal a new car for 2023, in addition to a fresh livery. This offered a first look at some of the understated changes produced by the revised regulations, along with points of convergence in the second year of the ground effect rules

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023