Monday, 12 march 2018, 10:02 , by Matthew Scott
Robert Kubica says a season serving as Williams' test driver will better prepare him for a full-time return to Formula 1. The Pole made his return to F1 in earnest at the pre-season test in Barcelona, showing impressive speed in a car he later described as handling "like a bus".
Kubica's best time of one minute 19.629 seconds was better than Williams team-mate Lance Stroll could manage across the fortnight.
The pole was not deemed fit for a full-time role after tests and Renault and Williams at the back-end of last season, with Sergey Sirotkin selected ahead of him by the Grove squad.
Kubica retains hope of returning to the grid for the first time since his rallying crash in 2011 and hopes understanding modern machinery over the course of 2017 will boost his chances further.
"If I am able to prepare and use the opportunity to get me closer and then if I have the chance to drive or come closer to race I will be for sure more prepared than a couple of months ago," the Pole said.
"Every day you can learn something new and I think at the end of the year, I think I will be better - maybe not [a better] driver - because when I have been in the car I have different priorities.
"It's not about fine tuning and small details, it's more my job to get a global picture and it's more about feedback, trying to find weaker points of the car and give suggestions and ideas to improve the car.
"It's not just about pure speed or pace but still it's a good opportunity to learn new things and be in the car.
"The regulations are quite restrictive for testing but still I will have the chance to drive and also it will give me the opportunity to drive the car while we are developing it.
"Understanding the development rate and the route we are going will be important."