Thuesday, 13 march 2018, 04:58 , by Martin Macdonald
Robert Kubica has confessed that he already feels better prepared to try and claim a 2019 Formula One seat than in 2018 when he was trying to make his comeback from serious injury, and has attributed his reserve driver role with Williams as helping him.
Kubica was involved in a serious accident during a rally car race a few years ago which cost him part of his forearm. After over a dozen surgeries, he has been working on a miraculous recovery and was in the running to gain a seat with Williams.
Sergey Sirotkin was eventually selected, but Kubica was still employed as the reserve driver to the Russian and Lance Stroll. Kubica's intention is still to get a seat in 2019, and thinks he is already better prepared than in pre-season for 2018.
“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, so understanding the development rate and the route we are going, will be important.”
Kubica also thinks that being a reserve driver has awarded him the opportunity to get more involved in the development stage of the car behind the scenes. He is eager to learn, and believes that being a racer driver limits the opportunity to do so due to the pressures of performing.
“It’s a good feeling for me. If you think where I was 12 months ago things have changed quite a lot. I am enjoying my position, it’s giving me quite a lot of challenges and also opportunities to see the team working, to see a different point of view of many things," he continued.
“When you are a race driver you see things in the race driver mode. The engineers, technicians, mechanics, all the team is working, but when you are a race driver you you don’t get as deep as I have opportunity to get in this situation.
“It’s a good opportunity and I’m enjoying it. It’s also good fun. I think it will be an interesting year.”