Ecclestone: Williams must pick Kubica for ’18

Bernie Ecclestone says Williams should not hesitate to pick Robert Kubica for next year as he is convinced the Pole can return to Formula 1 better than he was before.

Ecclestone has followed Kubica’s process closely over recent months, and has no doubts that the former F1 race winner is the man Williams needs to move forward.

 Kubica completed a “successful” test for Williams at Silverstone on Wednesday, ahead of another run in Hungary next week, as he contends for a race seat against Paul di Resta and current driver Felipe Massa.

“If Robert had not have had his accident, then I think by now he would have been world champion anyway,” Ecclestone told Autosport.

“I think he can come back even stronger than before.

“Mentally, I think probably he will be more aggressive than he was then: so I can only see good, good things for him.

“In terms of his physical conditions, years and years ago, when I had a race team, we had a guy called Archie Scott-Brown who drove for us.

“Archie was bloody quick and he was in a worse position than Robert, much worse, and he managed to be very successful and bloody quick.

“I don’t think his injury will hold him back.”

Kubica has generated huge publicity since he became a candidate for an F1 seat, with his mid-season test for Renault one of the biggest stories and social media events of the season.

It has left Ecclestone convinced there could be big marketing and sponsorship gains to be had if he lands a race drive.

“If he does what I think he is going to be do – be even better than before – then people will get behind him,” said Ecclestone. “He will be good to have for Formula 1.

“If I were Williams, I would definitely try to persuade him to join.

“Maybe they are going to lose Felipe Massa at the end of the year, I should think he has probably had enough, and if Robert is on board then he might wake up a lot of people there.

“The team hasn’t been performing as well as it should have done, and whether it is because of drivers or the team in general, I don’t know. Nobody knows.

“So it would be nice to get a guy who should be quick in the car to find out.”

F1 world champion Nico Rosberg has elected to help get involved in managing Kubica, which Ecclestone reckons is a big endorsement of the belief people have in him.

“Nico believes like I do very, very much in him,” he said.

“He just needs, like all of us in life, a little bit of luck in making sure – and hoping – that Williams wake up.”