Robert Kubica, the reserve driver for Williams, decided to give up his time in the car on the final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today. The Pole was scheduled to drive on the final morning of testing. Kubica volunteered to give up his testing time, so that the two race drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin got maximum time in the car.
Robert Kubica Sits Out Final Day Of Testing
Kubica was set to drive on Friday morning on the last day of testing. The Pole volunteered to sit out his session to allow Lance Stroll extra time in the car. Stroll’s testing sessions so far have been curtailed by the weather and reliability issues. The veteran driver is making his return to F1 after a long hiatus caused by a serious rally car accident.
High Praise From WIlliams Management
It was a thoughtful move with the team’s prospects in mind from the seasoned veteran. Claire Williams, the Deputy Team Principal, praised Kubica’s attitude and said:“It was actually under Robert’s instigation.
“Over the course of the seven days that we had here, the race drivers, through various different reasons, whether it be weather or directions that we’ve taken, haven’t had the track time that we wanted them to ahead of Australia.
“As everyone knows, Robert is an incredibly considerate racing driver and we’re very lucky in that and he knows that for the team’s benefit, the race drivers need the maximum amount of mileage.
“So it was his generous offer yesterday. It wasn’t the team. We haven’t asked him. It wasn’t Lance, Lance didn’t ask him.
“It was Robert, it was off his own bat, and clearly we were going to accept that we need that our race drivers to be in a best possible position that they can be going to Australia.
“Having them both in the car today will help us.”
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer, said:“Being open with you, we always put some of Robert’s half days at the end so that we would have flexibility. The priority was for the race drivers to be prepared for Australia.”
“What was really nice was that Robert volunteered himself before anyone needed to have any discussions about any re-balancing.”
Kubica was in the running for the second Williams race seat for many months. Sirotkin edged him in the end. It is vital for Kubica to grab all opportunities to be in the 2018 car and impress F1 teams, in order to make a comeback. So this act of giving up his session has been questioned.
The Pole explained: “I said I had no problem. I just made sure the team decided what is best. I don’t think I have done anything strange but people are asking me as if I have given away my heart.
“I’m not paid to be a race driver. I’m not scoring the points for the team so I don’t see it as so strange. It looks like it’s very strange, probably people are not used to it.
“But it shows we are working in one direction and with one goal, which is to use our chances and to maximise our possibilities for results.”
Surely this act by Kubica will strengthen the team spirit at the Grove-based team ahead of a tough season. An unselfish act by a seasoned veteran which might yield good results in the future.
Preview of the Stroll vs SIrotkin Battle:
Embed from Getty Images