It has recently been publicised that Robert Kubica, the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner and 3rd driver for Williams, has more or less nailed a deal that’ll see him race for the team full time in 2019.
That is an astonishing 9 years since his last full Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi 2010. Any yet, Williams insiders seem to think the deal is more or less done, making somewhat of a statement of the talent of Kubica, or the desperation of Williams.
Hilarious that a certain journalist writing for Motorsport.com / Autosport.com (take your pick), during the Brazilian GP, declared that the deal was complete in said publications, only to be taken to one side by a Williams PR person. Subsequently the breaking news story headlines changed within an hour or so, going from
“Robert Kubica has 2019 F1 race seat offer from Williams” to: “Robert Kubica in frame for 2019 Williams F1 race drive”.
Autosport wycofał się z pierwotnego tytułu swojego artykułu. Było:
“Robert Kubica has 2019 F1 race seat offer from Williams”
“Robert Kubica in frame for 2019 Williams F1 race drive”
Coraz ciekawiej się robi. #elevenF1
— Maciej Jermakow (@mjermakow) November 9, 2018
Many fans of F1 will of course remember that the Polish driver Robert Kubica held huge promise. Destined to partner Fernando Alonso before the unfortunate rally accident in February 2011 resulting in the driver nearly losing his hand. Many years of rehabilitation and then competition in other motorsport series before joining Williams for 2018 as reserve driver.
According to sources, it appears the last pieces are being put into place for Kubica to achieve his race seat in 2019, merely details are left to sign in his contract. One of which being the threat of losing Friday practice sessions to paying drivers. This issue for the main drivers will unfortunately include new comer and British hopeful George Russell.
Williams continue to struggle to bring in funds, and therefore are proceeding with a modus operandi that sells seat time to the highest bidder. Most likely, Nikita Mazepin the Russian hopeful is eyeing up a chance to run on Fridays.
In the interest of not losing F1 time to anybody, it might well be that Kubica must allow Williams to sell his seat on a Friday, therefore forcing the Pole to look elsewhere which might well be Ferrari, as a simulator driver.
“The decision is mine,”
“The comeback must also fit with me. I do not want to force anything.
It should be the reward for a long journey. It’s got to be about the environment and the people I work with. ” says Kubica.
Ocon stranded, losing out in F1?
Should Kubica decide to stick with Williams and become their race driver in 2019, then what of Esteban Ocon, the bane of Max Verstappen?
Well Kubica didn’t think the Mercedes driver should take a Williams seat a couple of months back, stating in a Polish interview with Cezary Gutkowski:
“If I was in Ocon’s place, I wouldn’t want to finish this season in a Williams.”
So it seems that for Ocon, the most likely outcome will be a reserve driver role for all the Mercedes teams in F1. Mercedes Benz AMG F1 themselves, Force India (or whatever name they end up with), and Williams F1 – or so say Auto Motor und Sport.
They claim that it’s likely we’ll see Ocon continue to drive in an F1 car during winter testing along with several Friday practices with each of the teams, until an expected comeback in 2020 (depending on seats available).
Interesting times ahead.