Robert Kubica to drive for Williams in Spanish GP Practice One

May 9 2018 , 4:19 pm

Kubica replaces Sirotkin in FW41 in Spanish GP Practice One; Pole’s last GP participation was 2010 season finale in Abu Dhabi

The Pole was named Williams’ reserve and development driver in January and will take the place of Sergey Sirotkin in the opening session at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Kubica last drove at a grand prix at the 2010 season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, three months before suffering career-changing injuries in a horrific rally crash in February 2011.

 “We have Robert Kubica taking part in FP1 in place of Sergey; his first of three FP1 appearances this season,” Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe said.

“We have a busy Friday programme and it will be interesting to get Robert’s feedback on the car.”

Lowe added that Williams are bringing a “reasonably significant upgrade” to their FW41 to Barcelona, the team having endured a difficult start to the 2018 season which has left them bottom of the Constructors’ Championship with just four points after the opening four races.

Kubica last drove the FW41 at the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya, and he has also been confirmed to drive on day two of the first in-season test of 2018 which will take place in Barcelona next week.

Kubica was tipped as a future world champion during his first stint in F1 in which he claimed 12 podium finishes and won the 2008 Canadian GP.

But a one-off participation in the 2011 Ronde di Andora rally dramatically changed the course of his career as he crashed into a church wall and suffered extensive damage to his right hand, arm and leg. He underwent several hours of surgery and suffered a partial amputation of his forearm

After slowly reintegrating himself into motorsport, Kubica started his F1 comeback trail with two test drives at Renault halfway through 2017.

While he missed out on the Renault seat, Kubica was handed a lifeline by Williams as they looked to replace Felipe Massa, with the 33-year-old first driving the 2014 car before earning an official test outing in Abu Dhabi.

Though Williams selected Sirotkin to be Lance Stroll’s team-mate for 2018, Kubica was named their third driver, securing him his first full-time role in F1 since his rally accident.


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