Robert Kubica, PKN Orlen press conference, 2019

Kubica: Rookies like Russell are better prepared than I was

2019 F1 season

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Robert Kubica says today’s Formula 1 rookies like his new team mate George Russell arrive in the sport much more prepared than he was on his debut 13 years ago.

Russell, the reigning Formula 2 champion, will start his first race as Kubica’s team mate at Williams next month.

“George is a very good driver, one of the most talented of the young generation,” said Kubica at an event for sponsor PKN. “He won F2, he won GP3, he is very talented and determined.

“As far as I know him, he is also a nice guy. He is also very mature given his young age and I think that this is a huge difference now.

“When I reached F1, the youngsters were getting to know F1. Now they are much better prepared than we were 10 or 15 years ago. They work closely with F1 teams in their junior programmes and they know a lot more than we knew.

“And I must say that he impressed me with his technical knowledge and other things.”

Williams finished last in the constructors’ championship last year. Kubica said the pair must prioritise improving the team’s car over beating each other.

There is always competition but first of all we need to make sure, together with the team and George, that we have the means to compete for better positions than at the end of the grid.

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2019 F1 season

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Robert Kubica, BMW, 2006
Kubica made his F1 debut with BMW Sauber in 2006

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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...
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16 comments on “Kubica: Rookies like Russell are better prepared than I was”

  1. Now that’s a bold claim. I’d have thought the exact opposite. Unlike Russell, Robert spent whole afternoons running BMW’s 3rd car in friday practice, at every venue until his eventual debut in Hungary. He was often the fastest guy out there, doing qualy runs. Plus the testing sessions outside the race calendar.

    I’d guess having the real feeling through your body in a current spec F1 car, in official sessions, would beat any other kind of preparation by a long way, even extensive work on simulators and being tied up with a team through its development driver programme.

    1. @fer-no65 My thoughts as well.

    2. Listen to his words, it’s translated from Polish to English. WHAT He means is they are better prepared mentally to be in f1 mostly, it’s not trans-literated properly. He has seen the last generation and the current generation so is able to speak of the matter. What is not true? The new guys are involved in f1 teams young driver programs well before f1.

      1. Ps, I heard the interview in Polish first, this article reads click bait, as the Polish media didn’t take this part of the interview for any article.

      2. Also he has spoken at lengths in Polish media about things like being prepared for media interviews, watch Russel, he is a seasoned pro at his age, they are trained not just for driving pre f1 these days, but also for the pr side of things, so they can be more mentally free just to drive. Kubica himself is good at pr Now, but not back in 2006

      3. I’m not saying it’s not true, surely he has his reasons and the guy has been there both ways, and I’m just an armchair expert. I just found it odd.

        I can see how it might have been lost in translation. I don’t know polish so I’ll have to take the words on the site as they are.

  2. New entrants such as Russel have moved through the formulas which themselves have a relationship with F1 and then he shadowed Mercedes last year and was there in the garage for every race he could manage and was familiar with the factory and engineers.

    Hamilton driving around madly with Billie Monger gave him a key tip: write everything down you see as important after every drive, racing or testing or qualifying. Sounds so obvious that you keep a record of such things. These current young drivers have been mentored in a way that earlier newcomers can only dream of.

    1. Yes sure, all the youngster came better prepared like Verstappen, Alguersuari, Stroll, Kvyat, etc etc. They are even being promoted with 0 experience or very few like the names i mencioned. So this is a semi lie from Kubica because he’s referencing Rusell, which has lot of experience before f1, but making it general. But in the case of the others that promote as fast as they can, they don’t come better prepared, but they let them take some years learning the car and testing the real product, not the half power junior formulas.
      The debate will be if its better to promote them with 18 years old without any relevant experience or promote them with 21 after winning every junior formula. A bit like Leclerc against Verstappen case. One promotes after winning every junior formula like Hamilton back in his days, and the other promote as fast as they can like Vettel in his days.

      1. Hamilton’s junior formula preperation pales into significance compared to his pre mclaren 2007 season preperation. He did over 20,000kms testing in a car that would be world championship ready. No other rookie since has had that preperation, and very few if any before him, he was prepared by mclaren to be a world champion as a rookie. Imagine George Russell in 2019 with 20,000kms Williams testing coming into Melbourne… And if Williams was a top 2 team! Hamilton got it better than any f1 rookie ever in the sport, he got an unfair advantage by today’s or any standards where now drivers don’t even do 20,000km in a season of race Weekends and testing.

        1. Yes sure, they expected him to be world champion as a rookie… Thats why they signed Alonso…

        2. kpcart, you are wrong about the amount of mileage that Hamilton covered in testing before his first race, and by an extremely large margin as well.

          The actual amount of testing that Hamilton carried out for McLaren before his first race was about 11,000km. However, that total includes 3,200km of testing mileage racked up with a 2006 specification MP4-21. His total pre-season testing mileage in the MP4-22 came to 7,700km, which was in fact less than Alonso did – Alonso managed to record just under 8,300km of testing mileage in the MP4-22 before the start of the 2007 season.

          Your estimate of Hamilton’s testing mileage in the MP4-22 is therefore approximately three times larger than reality, and in fact your assessment of what testing mileages were like in that era is also extremely wide of the mark as well.

          To put Hamilton’s mileage into perspective against his contemporaries, it’s actually fairly comparable. Vettel had more than 8,300km of private testing before his first race and Nico Rosberg covered 9,500km before his first race for Williams in 2006, just to pick two other drivers who started their careers at a comparable time – so, rather than being exceptional, Hamilton’s testing mileage was fairly normal for that era.

          As it happens, Hamilton’s testing mileage is overshadowed quite heavily by that of Robert Kubica – he is estimated to have covered about 15,500km of test mileage with the BMW F1.06 before his first race. If any driver can be said to have “got it better than any F1 rookie ever in the sport” in terms of testing mileage, I would say there is a far stronger case for Robert Kubica being that candidate instead.

          1. I knew I could count on the resident Oracle to fact check that erroneous nonsense. Not the first time I’ve seen him try to push that narrative, but wasn’t sure of the exact figures myself (only that it was nowhere near as many Kms). Thanks, anon (as usual ;))

          2. Well said anon

            It’s well documemted that Alonso actually did more testing in the 2007 spec McLaren car than Hamilton. The figures are there for anyone to check. Add to this Alonso having 5yrs plus racing experience over Hamilton . People talk as though Hamilton having testing in the 2007 car somehow gave him an unfair advantage over everyone else in 2007. But what they fail to factor is that the rest of the 2007 grid was also doing similar amounts of testing in their 2007 spec cars- so it was all relative.

            I saw this comment on reddit a while ago. It’s quite interesting and documents McLaren’s 2007 pre-season testing:

        3. kpcart – I get so bored now, every time I see your name on a comment, to know you will be offering your usual ignorant and highly biased pontification.
          Do you think you could change your name… Please. ;-)

      2. I don’t know what you think “zero experience” is but all drivers need success in lower series to ever get a superlicense.

        The teams get to see and know the drivers in great detail, including telemetry and everything else that matters to an F1 team, which you are not one of.

        They know more than us, but I get the power of the armchair.

  3. Making excuses already for when his teammate beats him

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