Williams drivers did well to "hide" spares shortage - Kubica

Robert Kubica says that Williams did well to "hide" its issue with a lack of key spares for the FW42 until George Russell's crash in the Russian GP brought it into the open.

Williams drivers did well to "hide" spares shortage - Kubica

Kubica also distanced himself from sponsor PKN Orlen, who last week issued a statement saying that it had asked Williams for clarification on Kubica's retirement in Sochi, and hinting at potential contractual issues.

Russell crashed in the race due to a wheel retention issue, and because the Englishman had also suffered damage to two front wings the previous weekend in Singapore, Williams feared that it might be left short of parts in Japan should Kubica also have an incident in the race.

Read Also:

He was thus called in and retired shortly after Russell's crash.

Asked by Motorsport.com if the team should have just let him race to the flag, he made it clear that he wasn't happy with the decision.

"It was a bit disappointing from a driver's point of view because we have been in this situation, or at least in races where somehow there is always a risk, but also there is a driver who knows exactly what the situation is," Kubica said.

"I think I did pretty well during all the year to - let's say - save the car as much as you can.

"But I think on the other hand you have to react to the situation we are in and probably from the team's perspective this was the right choice.

"But it's a bit disappointing, especially that it's not the first race of the season, and we have been doing F1 for a pretty long time.

"Of course we were unfortunate with George losing two front wings in Singapore and one in Russia, but still it's racing and it can happen, and I think we were pretty lucky that it happened so late in the season, because probably we would have faced the same problem of Russia earlier in the season.

"As a team we have to react to what happened, and hopefully it will not happen again."

Kubica said he had no issue with the fact that his Sochi race was compromised despite the wing damage occurring on his teammate's car.

"Yeah, but in the end it's a team outcome, and it could happen to me. I think we were very lucky, somehow you have to be lucky as well, because a first lap accident could happen to you every time – you don't know, you have no control over the others.

"Together with George we have been lucky all the season to not do silly things or to limit silly things, and we were able to, let's say, hide the problem for a pretty long time.

"But unfortunately Singapore and Russia showed up that we were not ready for what is called the risk of motorsport and racing, because in the end nothing strange happened - we just lost a couple of front wings. Which might happen every weekend."

Kubica insisted that he didn't know if PKN Orlen was happy with the response it received from the team after a PR spokesman posted a message saying that the company had questioned Williams on the reason for the retirement.

"You'd have to ask my sponsor. Well, not even my sponsor, a sponsor. If you asked me what I think and what my feeling is, there is nothing really to add. I don't have to be happy with the response Orlen got, I don't know what response they got."

Asked if he was surprised by Orlen's intervention he said: "I don't know, I'm not surprised about anything in this world.

"So it's not surprising. I don't know where it came from. I think asking for clarification is correct, I would say. I put myself in different places. But I honestly don't know, I'm not involved in this."

shares
comments
Vettel admits team orders defiance was "not right"

Previous article

Vettel admits team orders defiance was "not right"

Next article

Red Bull's fuel supplier to use new chemicals in Japan

Red Bull's fuel supplier to use new chemicals in Japan
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Robert Kubica
Teams Williams
Author Adam Cooper
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021