Tyre problems the reason why Williams overlooked Kubica

Thursday, 11 january 2018, 06:37 , by Matthew Scott

Williams have reportedly decided to opt for Sergey Sirotkin over Robert Kubica for their final seat for the 2018 Formula One season due to the Pole's inability to adapt to the new Pirelli tyres which were introduced at testing last year, according to Andrew Benson of the BBC.

This week, Sirotkin was confirmed as the partner for Lance Stroll at Williams for the upcoming campaign, with many F1 commentators criticising the decision as they believe it was due to the financial backing the Russian receives rather than his driving ability.

However, F1 reporter Benson insists it was due to issues Kubica had adapting to new Pirelli tyres.

"The main issue for Robert was primarily the speed on “qualifying” laps, during which the car has a small amount of fuel in the tank," Benson told Sportowefakty.wp.pl.

"Kubica, on all his runs using the tyres could not significantly improve performance.

"I also received information that the 33-year-old himself revealed to his manager his problems with adapting to the new tyres provided by Pirelli.

"There is nothing strange about this. Many regular F1 drivers complain about the revolutionary tires of the Italian company.

"For Kubica, however, the adaptation process can be a much more difficult challenge. Unlike the rest of the drivers, the Pole has not driven any of the last six seasons since Pirelli became F1’s partner.

"In the end, Williams management in Grove decided that Kubica couldn’t get the job done and that in their current situation there is no room for risk. Hence the choice of Sirotkin."

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Comments (24)

  • Mark Andrew
    Now if I were a cynical man I might think all this 'will they won't they' publicity about Kubica might be a ruse to keep Williams in the press for the close season in order to attract sponsors...but that would be uber cynical. At the very least they might have enjoyed the side effect of the Kubica story giving them publicity. Any or all of which would help oil the machine of funding which is essential to compete with the big boys.
  • Marcin Majchrzyk
    I find it quite confusing. Did Williams invite Robert to Abu Dhabi to test his ability to drive a modern F1 car and test new Pirelli on the long runs? or were they secretly testing his ability to push the car and the tyres to the limit straight away? I remember that Kubica himself told that he was there not to do quick laptimes but to run the teams whole test program. Williams, Kubica or journalists - someone is/was lying...
  • Aaron Dennis
    If they really wanted the best available driver, Wehrlein was the obvious choice. Money was the clear deciding factor here and I hope it's enough to offset the loss in prize money as the team finishes no better than 8th this season.
  • Andy Hall
    You could argue the media coverage and potential additional sponsors Kubica would have bought in would be much more than 20 million Face it he's the past and had his shot and shit happened
  • Ted Reimann
    No, of course not, it's purely his skill that got him the drive. I wonder if Paul Di Resta would have gotten the drive if he'd coughed up the $20 mil?
  • Andrew Unwin
    2 pay drivers this season, anyone who has watched F1 long enough knows what happens to teams that need pay drivers, the outcome is rarely good.
  • Steven Miller
    Rubbish, Kubica's lap times and long runs were more than worthy of a seat for 2018. Money has spoken.
  • Stu Clegg
    I do really hope another team hire Kubica. Williams have done another Lance Stroll. What a shame. Money clearly talks...
  • Michael Haskey
    Let's see how Sirotkin gets on in qualifying and race runs. I hope he is faster than Stroll.
  • Gareth Jones
    Have supported williams since the early 90s with mansel and hill totally gone off them now
  • Geoff Kimmins
    I like Williams but this is a very poor racing decision, this is a cardigan wearing accountant decision.
  • Gabriel Camacho Agraz
    Well no, of course not. Money had nothing to do with it. It was entirely a technical decision.
  • Marcin Slonina
    Bullshit ! Money money and money that's sad ??
  • Peter Dryden
    Looking forward to seeing Williams dissapear further down the grid.
  • Mark Connolly
    ?? To my knowledge Williams have not announced yet??
  • Shaun Ross
    Why are Gpfans the only site reporting this.... fake news?
  • Carlos José Espínola Basualdo
    Kubica so overrated and hyped.. crap
  • Adnan Alee Khan
    only stupid deaf person believe.... shit williams
  • Gordon Assur
    Money talks!
  • Rafal Czepulkowski
    yeah right...

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