FORMULA 1 MOTORSPORT NEWS

Robert Kubica raring for F1 return with ROKiT Williams Racing eight years after rallying accident

But after working his way back through a gruelling rehabilitation period and driving in various events in the motor racing industry, the 34-year-old has been handed the chance to revive his career by Williams, following the departures of 2018 drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin.

Image: Getty Images
Kubica last raced in F1 back in 2010 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where the cars still had the noisy V8 engines. Now driving in the hybrid era for the first time, he expects he will need to adapt before he can show his true ability.

“For sure, it feels great. It’s been a long time since I was on the F1 grid and finally I’m here,” Kubica told Standard Sport.

“There’s still a few weeks until Australia but [I’m] looking forward to it. The next few weeks [testing in Barcelona] will be very important for myself, for the team, in trying a new car and preparing for

After it was announced Kubica would be partnered by George Russell for the 2019 season, Williams agreed a new partnership with telecom company ROKiT, replacing former sponsor Martini.

It marks a new direction for the team which finished last in the 2018 constructors’ championship with just seven points, and the former BMW and Lotus driver is keen to help Williams return to the lofty heights of the F1. But in order to do so, Kubica warned the car must be up to scratch.

“From my personal point of view, my target is to try to put the pieces of the puzzle back together and try to get the feeling which I had before my accident in an F1 car.

“I want to try to deliver as good results as I can and also not only on track but especially off-track. Our goal is to improve things, to get better and it’s not only about driving the car but working with the whole team.”

One familiar face amongst the paddock for Kubica will be five-time champion Lewis Hamilton, a driver who he spent most of his early years in F1 battling against at the front of the grid.

With Mercedes dominating each of the last five seasons, there is unlikely to be any more tussles between the two in the near future. But Kubica was quick to praise his former rival about the way he progressed during his absence.

“Our situations are very different. I have been away from the sport for very long,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica catch up at the Monaco Grand PrixPhoto: Getty Images

“The drivers who have been racing for long, in this case Lewis, have moved from the V8 engines – the 2010 cars – gradually. But for me [it] was a big step. Formula One has changed a lot from a technical point of view and I have big admiration for Lewis. I don’t think anyone can have any doubt about his talent and what he has done.

“He is coming from one of the best season he delivered last season, so big respect and hats off. But still he is driving for a world championship-winning team and we are in a different situation.

“We have to look only at ourselves and cannot pretend to do things that as they are doing, we are in different situations.”

Source: The Evening Standard