Assessing Kubica injuries the main focus of F1 test - Williams

Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says the focus of Robert Kubica's upcoming Abu Dhabi test will be assessing whether his injuries could affect his ability to return to Formula 1.

Assessing Kubica injuries the main focus of F1 test - Williams
Robert Kubica
 Robert Kubica, Renault Sport F1 Team
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer, Williams Formula 1
 Robert Kubica, Mario Isola, Pirelli Racing Manager
 Robert Kubica, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Paddy Lowe, Williams Shareholder and Technical Director
Listen to this article

Kubica has emerged as the leading contender to replace Felipe Massa at Williams next season, after testing a 2014 F1 car with the team recently at Silverstone and the Hungaroring.

Kubica tested a 2017 Renault in Hungary in August, but Tuesday's Pirelli tyre test at the Yas Marina circuit represents the first opportunity for Williams to assess Kubica's capabilities in a current F1 car.

"Robert is an impressive guy," said Lowe. "We all saw how he operated in Formula 1 in the past - he's a great driver, very professional, very committed, enthusiastic, very intelligent. He's an exciting prospect, that's why we're looking at him.

"We're in a process with Robert, which is a matter of evaluating whether his injuries will have an impact on his ability to drive in Formula 1, it's as simple as that.

"So far it's been fine, is all I'd say - we ran the 2014 car and there were no issues, so I think we just see how it goes next week, then we make our assessment.

"He will do a normal programme and in the process we can answer those questions."

Lowe said it was important for Williams to make an objective judgement on Kubica and not get caught up in the emotional appeal of facilitating an unlikely comeback following the 2011 rally crash that almost severed Kubica's right arm.

"I pick that up - a lot of people do say that how great it would be if Robert was back in F1 - we'll see," Lowe added. "It's important to be objective in what we do.

"There are other drivers still under consideration, but we know how they perform because they've been racing - we have lots of race data."

Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin has recently emerged as another contender to become Lance Stroll's teammate in 2018, alongside Pascal Wehrlein – whom Mercedes boss Toto Wolff now believes has only a "tiny" chance of being selected for the seat, current reserve Paul di Resta and Red Bull reject Daniil Kvyat.

Sirotkin will also test for Williams next week.

"Sergey is somebody we haven't done any work with before, so he's a new prospect we're looking at and we'll see where that takes us - whether it's short term or longer term," Lowe explained.

"I think he's an interesting driver - we were talking to his management and we like his profile."

Stroll has said he is unconcerned who partners him at Williams next year, so long as they are a "team player".

Lowe insisted the team would only ever choose such a driver, but that a decision won't be made "this weekend and it won't be next week, so sometime after that".

shares
comments
Red Bull can blame itself for three-engine limit - Wolff
Previous article

Red Bull can blame itself for three-engine limit - Wolff

Next article

British kitchen porter Leigh wins F1's eSports title

British kitchen porter Leigh wins F1's eSports title
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022