Robert Kubica, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Kubica: Any gains this weekend won’t come from car

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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Robert Kubica says if Williams are any more competitive in the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend it will only be because the track and conditions are different to previous races.

Williams lagged well over a second per lap off the rest of the field in the first two races of the year. Kubica said the variations from track to track, rather than any developments on his car, will make the difference this weekend.

“The first three tracks are very different from each other,” he said ahead of this weekend’s race in Shanghai. “Australia because it’s not a permanent track, Bahrain because of the rear limitations and stress in to the rear tyres.

“Here is a bit I would have to say probably more like Australia. But on the other hand you have very long straight line which is more complicated on the downforce side and drag position, and temperatures. Definitely looks like it will be cold so it’s something which we have to see how our car will hope.

“But I will be surprised if we can expect something massively different. Hopefully it will be something different but if it will be better it will only be because of the conditions and track not because of other stuff.

“Let’s wait and see but again the target ad the goal will be always the same, to try to do the best from what you have.”

Kubica said the car he drove in the Bahrain Grand Prix was “exactly the same at is was in Australia”. He damaged his car’s floor at the first race weekend and had to used a repaired floor in Bahrain due to the team’s shortage of parts. Kubica added he does not know if the team will have fresh parts this weekend.

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Author information

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...
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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20 comments on “Kubica: Any gains this weekend won’t come from car”

  1. So a month into the season, and no development on the car, and possibly still a shortage of spare parts for the drivers?

    How long are the racing media going to softball Williams on this and actually call them out on this? This is disgracing the legacy of one of the most legendary teams in the history of the sport, and people are just shrugging their shoulders and looking away?

    Where’s the investigative journalism that is sorely needed here. Why haven’t you or Dieter actually tried to dig through the obfuscation and spin by the team and find out just exactly why Williams have failed so spectacularly, Mr Collantine?

    1. @stopitrawr I don’t think any Williams management want to. Williams is the only F1 team (2018) that has balance budget. They’re more like a corporate than so called garagista. Opening to the media what’s went wrong is bad for sponsors and shareholders. They had to spin every negative things as a ‘moment of going forward’ or something to assure their future.

    2. It’s one thing to bemoan the lack of articles accurately cutting to the heart of matters, another entirely to suggest this is because people aren’t willing to criticise the team.

      I expect just about every journalist out there is trying hard to find out exactly what happened, what is happening, and what is likely to happen next. For journalists with integrity, such as Dieter and Keith, they are going to be further restricted by a desire to be truthful and correct, not merely first.

    3. @stopitrawr It’s not as if we’ve ignored it so far:

      Williams must face up to its worsening crisis
      The game changed and they didn’t: The true cause of Williams’ decline

      As for what we’re working on next, I suggest keeping an eye on Dieter’s Paddock Diary this weekend…

      1. @keithcollantine

        Thanks for replying. I think that there’s a difference between a team who just make a bad car late, which it looked like in testing, and then once the season started, it has become clear that Williams have struggled to even operate as a proper racing outfit.

        This isn’t normal. A month into the season we shouldn’t be having drivers telling the media that they don’t even have spare parts, one crash away from missing an entire weekend potentially?

        From the last article you posted.

        There is simply too much potential within the Grove campus for Williams to follow fellow multiple champions such as Lotus, Cooper and Brabham into oblivion.

        This is where I disagree. This is looking like an existential crisis, and without the spotlight shone directly under the veil of PR, we might not know until it is too late. Are Williams simply in transisition, or are they circling the drain? We don’t know, and it should be the Motorsport press responsibility to find out.

  2. It’s slightly surprising that kubica has been so outspoken about the straits williams are in. that suggests two things: 1, it’s really, genuinely awful and talking openly about it will make no difference (a bit like UK politicians openly talking about who will replace the prime minister…the party line has gone out the window!). or 2, he expects to be out of the seat before long (i.e. they’re lining up a driver with more sponsorship) and is being as brutal as he likes.

    frankly, if they are running so low on spares that they have to repair parts from race to race, I don’t think the team is long for this world. it has practically ceased to be viable, especially if they are condemned to plumb last for a 2nd year in a row. others are commenting that they are the only team that has to break even – if this is what breaking even means then the sport is utterly broken, and the only teams that will survive will be the playthings of the rich and frivolous.

    I hope they turn things around – losing a team with 40+ years of history would be a dreadful indictment of the sport.

    1. @frood19 – Dieter’s recent article about Williams seemed to indicate that they were not in dire straits financially, despite the loss of Stroll and Martini. So the absence of parts seems to have some other reason – maybe its just the lead time to build and bake the carbon fiber (e.g. for the corrected aero parts), or some other such logistics.

      1. Which is pathetic for a team that are in the positive financially. Kubicas chassis has over 5000km logged, while Russell’s has only over 1000.kubicas chassis has been used for most of testing, it has issues but Williams can’t replace it like any modern f1 team can, why the hell? Kubica and Russel will be running a melbourne spec floor for China, with kubicas chassis running again a ‘repaired floor’ as Williams are unable to build a new floor. Kubicas floor was first damaged in Melbourne running over the same curb everyone else runs over during fp1. In turn one of the race gasly ran over his front wing which then got lodged under kubicas car which damaged kubicas floor and diffuser. Kubica has to drive with this damage for a 3rd race, while Russell is driving the chassis with no damage. Any other team would replace kubicas chassis by now, but he has to use the same slow and also damaged chassis for at least one more race and likely many more the way Williams are looking. No aero updates in first 3 races, while all other teams are pushing ahead.

      2. …and then they show Racing Point’s garage on Sky, where Otmar tells that they had to install DIFFERENT floor on one of their cars because they’re going to try different front wing and for the each variant of wing they have a corresponding floor design. And it’s for just the second race… Couldn’t help but to point it out.

        1. Racing Point don’t even have the equipment in-house to make their own floors either, so why can’t Williams have a single spare floor by race three?

        2. Racing Point don’t even have the equipment in-house to make their own floors either, so why can’t Williams have a single spare floor by race three? Not looking good.

  3. So what he’s saying is they have maximised the potential of the this spec car in 2 race weekends and any work that has been done between Aus and China in the factory has not brought any performance to the car, almost a waste of time.
    I’m sure there are some honest and hardworking people at the factory and he could at least show a bit of gratitude that they are putting two cars on the track. Considering how far behind he’s finishing behind George, I think he should be focused on reducing that gap first and complain about the car later.

    1. You’re forgetting that Kubica is driving a completely different car compared to George Russell’s.
      Test after Bahrain GP, when they were driving the same (Kubica’s) car, confirms that clearly.

      And to all of you complaining about… Kubica’s complaints – hey! This is Robert. He will always be grumpy, grouchy etc. Even when he was fighting for P1 in BMW in his best days in F1 he was constantly complaining. That’s his nature, he always wants more…

    2. Give him identical car and then comment like that “Considering how far behind he’s finishing behind George”

    3. Needs a car that is not falling apart first, before being able to reduce the gap. Logical.

      1. Well actually his car is not falling apart, he has finished both races and his last off was because “for the first time the car worked and he was surprised”. His first job is not to break the car. The team did not give him a broken car, he broke it knowing that they had no spares.
        It’s clear from the first two races that he’s not up to pace and he’s been full of excuses and negative comments before the season even started. By mid season the relationship between him and the team will be toxic.

        1. So why was he, and George, told to avoid kerbs when racing? Why did Williams missed quarter of the testing time?
          Why do Williams think FIA can only count to six?
          He doesn’t need excuses, car is crap and he has no hang ups talking about it. He paid, now he demands. Simples.

          1. I completely agree that the car is rubbish but you have to beat your teammate in the equally rubbish car.
            They were told to avoid kerbs because the risk of damaging a part they don’t have spares for is higher and without spares, they might end up not racing on sunday. Which is a different situation to what you are implying. Williams haven’t given him a car with shoddy bits falling off the moment he rides a kerb they just don’t (or didn’t) have replacements.
            What I’m saying is no one expects Williams to get into Q2. Therefore, he should be more focused on out qualifying his rookie teammate and out racing him, which by evidence of the last two races he’s failing spectacularly.

  4. Seriously, Claire? Still the same car, no adjustments? Is this a mockery of fans, sponsors, the entire F1 community? Other teams are driving off, in a moment the “107% rule” will cease to be a fiction…

  5. I agree in the equally rubbish car
    But you’ve heard drivers statements that both cars behave differently with the same setup?

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