Robert Kubica will be the reserve and development driver for Williams this season, the Formula 1 team announced on Tuesday but the Pole is adamant that his ultimate goal is to be on the grid at some point in the future.
Sergey Sirotkin was earlier announced as a race driver for the former champions, partnering Canadian Lance Stroll.
Kubica, 33, had been hoping to get the race seat and return to the starting grid for the first time since a 2011 rally accident partially severed his right arm, “I’m extremely happy to be joining the Williams team as its official Reserve and Development Driver this season.”
“I feel in the best physical shape that I have ever been, but it has taken a lot of work to get to where I am now, so I’d like to thank Williams for the opportunities they have given me so far, and for putting their faith in me with this appointment.”
“I have enjoyed being back in the Formula 1 paddock over these past few months, and I now look forward to working with the Williams technical team, both at the factory and at the track, to really help push forward the development of the FW41 and to make a real difference to their 2018 campaign. ”
“Having driven both the FW36 and the FW40, I’m looking forward to seeing how the FW41 measures up on track and working with the team to ensure we can maximise the performance of the car. My ultimate goal remains to race again in Formula One and this is another important step in that direction: I cannot wait to get started,” concluded Kubica.
Deputy team principal, Claire Williams, said, “I am delighted to announce that Robert will be joining Williams as our Reserve and Development Driver for the 2018 season.”
“All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved, and it is a great credit to his strength of character and commitment to return to Formula One. We are excited to be continuing our relationship with Robert and look forward to working with him this coming season.”
Chief technical officer, Paddy Lowe, added, “First and foremost, we’d like to congratulate Robert on what he has achieved so far. To overcome his injuries, return to fitness, and drive a Formula One car again is a remarkable achievement and one that few considered possible.”
“We anticipate Robert will make a strong technical contribution to the team, using his wealth of experience in track testing, simulator work, and support to the race drivers and engineers at every race. He is a driver I have admired for many years and I am personally very happy to be working with him towards our 2018 Championship.”
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