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Williams: Sitting out for Lance was Robert’s idea

Williams reserve Robert Kubica was supposed to make a final test appearance on the final day of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya but took it upon himself to step aside and afford Lance Stroll an extra afternoon in the cockpit of the FW41.

Team chief Claire Williams how Kubica made the call, “It was under Robert’s instigation. He knows that for the team’s benefit, the race drivers need the maximum amount of mileage.”

“Robert is an incredibly considerate racing driver. We’re very lucky in that. It was his generous offer yesterday. It was Robert, it was off his own bat. It wasn’t the team. We haven’t asked him. It wasn’t Lance, he didn’t ask him.”

“Clearly we were going to accept that we need that our race drivers to be in a best possible position that they can be going to Australia. And having them both in the car today will help us.”

Kubica was at one point candidate for a race seat with the Grove outfit but had to settle for a reserve role instead.

The Pole explained, “I said I had no problem. I just made sure the team decided what is best. I don’t think I have done anything strange but people are asking me as if I have given away my heart!”

“I’m not paid to be a race driver. I’m not scoring the points for the team so I don’t see it as so strange. It looks like it’s very strange, probably people are not used to it.”

“But it shows we are working in one direction and with one goal, which is to use our chances and to maximise our possibilities for results.”

Technical boss Paddy Lowe added, “Being open with you, we always put some of Robert’s half days at the end so that we would have flexibility. The priority was for the race drivers to be prepared for Australia.”

“What was really nice was that Robert volunteered himself before anyone needed to have any discussions about any re-balancing.”