Williams won themselves many friends when they confirmed Robert Kubica as their driver for 2019, but team chief Claire Williams is adamant that the appointment is not merely a feel-good story for the beleaguered team but a piece in the puzzle to recovery for the once mighty outfit.
Williams told Sky F1, “It’s a great story but to us, it’s not about the story, it’s about choosing the best racing driver for us. It’s all part of the Williams puzzle to get us back to where we need to be.”
“We did a full evaluation process with the pool of drivers we were looking at, but Robert has done a fantastic job for us this year. Even with the fact we didn’t select him going into this year in the race seat role, he’s still stepped up as our reserve driver and he’s spent so much time with the team.”
“He has been really impressive working behind the scenes. His commitment, his tenacity on what he wants and what he wants to see the team doing is really impressive, with the feedback he’s been able to give and he’s a good driving force.”
“Just such a tenacity that he has after his injury is so super impressive and if he applies all that next year, I know he’s going to do a great job for us.”
Williams have had a torrid season, slipping to the foot of the field with an awful race car, perhaps the worst ever built by the illustrious team.
Claire acknowledged, “It’s been quite a challenging year for everyone and we’re going to end this year in last place in the championship, which is something we certainly weren’t hoping for or expecting.”
“Robert has played an instrumental part of helping drive development of the FW41 and he’s going to be a big part of the development of the FW42. He’s got an extraordinary understanding of engineering and he’s a real pusher as well. He helps drive the engineers in what they are doing.”
“He pushes me – he talks to me at two in the morning in airport lounges about what’s gone wrong and what we need to be doing. We really need a driver pairing that’s going to deliver that for us next year,” added Williams.
Big Question: Was signing Robert the right decision by Williams?