Williams F1 driver Robert Kubica says he has only completed enough laps in a fully built Williams FW42 car during pre-season to feel 20% ready for his Williams debut in two weeks in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
With Williams’ late arrival to the first F1 pre-season test in Barcelona compromising their first week, and lack of spare parts hampering any running at the end of the second week it has been a trying start to both drivers’ Robert Kubica and George Russell‘s Williams F1 careers.
But while all of new-to-F1 George Russell‘s interviews have been largely positive and optimistic, the battle-hardened Pole, veteran of 76 F1 Grand Prix has been more open in revealing his frustration at Williams’ plight.
“Going to the first race after eight years without doing a proper job of testing will be difficult” said Kubica.
“But this is the situation and I cannot change it, so I have to make sure we are doing everything we can from my side. ”
“Probably I know 20 percent of the things that I should know before going to Australia. The rest is unknown. I haven’t done longer than 15 laps long run, so there are a lot of question marks. But that’s the reality – we did the maximum of what we had.”
He also revealed that aside from a run on Wednesday, in which he set a best laptime of 1.19.3, much of the pre-season test – whist clearly worthwhile from a team and a car perspective – did more harm than good in preparing him for the start of the F1 season in a new car.
“The reality is, my test ended after the first run in the afternoon. The rest, I have to forget.”
“[The run on Wednesday] was one of the best of my runs in a Williams car so I get up a lot of confidence, but since then my confidence disappeared, because the car was not in the right state.”
This being the case it looks most likely that Williams will use the opening Grand Prix of the 2019 season in Australia as a race-test in an attempt to make up for time lost in Barcelona, and that they’ll be some way adrift of the pace.
As long as we fans approach the weekend with realistic expectations and remember that concentrating on development rather than competing benefits the team long-term we won’t be disappointed when the inevitable p19 and p20 happens. And anything more will be a bonus!