Grid "panic", lost mirror added to Kubica F1 return dramas

Robert Kubica says a pre-race grid panic that he could not see the start lights, plus a mirror falling off his car early in the Australian Grand Prix, added to the dramas of his Formula 1 return.

Grid "panic", lost mirror added to Kubica F1 return dramas

The Pole was taking part in his first F1 race since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, although any hopes of a good result were dashed at the first corner when a collision with Pierre Gasly broke his front wing.

But that was not the only incident that the Williams driver had to battle through, as he eventually came home 17th and last.

Speaking about his afternoon, Kubica said the first worry came when he formed up on the grid and realised that his view of the start lights was obscured.

"I had a bit of panic because when I stopped I couldn’t see the lights,” he said. “The rear wing of the McLaren [of Carlos Sainz] was hiding it.

"I could see the first block and not the rest. So I had to move to the left and it was a bit of a panic moment.”

After overcoming that concern, Kubica said that things were tricky away on the run down the first corner before it all went wrong at Turn 1.

“I did a pretty good start but unfortunately with hard tyres then I had a lot of wheelspin.

“So running into Turn 1, I took it very safe and I moved a lot to the inside over the kerb. Once I thought ‘okay this is over’, I went through the first corner, but from what I saw Gasly moved quite a lot to the right and there was contact with Sainz.

“He [Gasly] damaged my front wing. But I didn’t realise 100 metres later that I lost all the wing: I thought I had lost half of it! This wing [flying off] caused other damage to the car, so we had to pit.

“The car was not feeling great, and then additionally on lap three of the race I lost one mirror, which made it even more difficult with blue flags. So it was quite hard.”

Once he got into a rhythm, Kubica’s pace improved in the race, but he says he nearly "laughed" when he was told how good things looked from the pit wall.

“I was told the pace was not bad, and actually it was good, for the car with the state [it was in]. And I nearly started laughing because from the inside it felt very bad!”

Despite his difficult weekend, Kubica said there were some good things to take away from it – especially in terms of better understanding the car.

“There are some positives,” he said. “I think yesterday I couldn’t be happy but it was a complicated day.

"Today was probably even more complicated but from the things I could have control over, I think I did a reasonable good job and I was quite confident that I could do it.

“Probably most of the people had doubts about my physical aspect, the first corner and the start.

"It was my first standing start after eight years and four months. I had never done a standing start on the grid since Abu Dhabi 2010 and actually it was quite good.

“But overall, I am leaving Australia with definitely more experience, and reasonably happy – although I will never think I would say something like this having this pace and finishing so far behind!”

shares
comments
Ferrari explains call to back Leclerc off Vettel

Previous article

Ferrari explains call to back Leclerc off Vettel

Next article

Vettel: Ferrari had "way less grip" than in testing

Vettel: Ferrari had "way less grip" than in testing
Load comments
Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold? Prime

Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold?

OPINION: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reckoned Max Verstappen winning the French Grand Prix – an event where Mercedes had previously been dominant – would signal “we can beat them anywhere”. Here’s how that claim stacks up looking at the rest of the 2021 season

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1 Prime

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2021
French Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

French Grand Prix driver ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Prime

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021