BBC journalist Andrew Benson in depth interview to the Polish newspaper Sportowefakty spoke about the reasons why the Williams team is believed to have refused to cooperate with Robert Kubica and chose to invite Sergey Sirotkin.
An official statement about who will partner lance Stroll in the season of 2018, is expected within the next week. There is less doubt that they will be 22-year-old Russian racer. Kubica return to Formula 1 after an absence of seven years would be a very nice story, but didn’t seem to work…
“Postseason tests in Abu Dhabi played a key role. After examining all of the data in Williams decided that Sirotkin is not only faster, but also much more promising Kubica”.
“The main issue was the speed in qualifying mode. No one part of the tire Kubica could not make substantial progress. As far as I know, Robert was in conversation with his Manager honestly said that he had trouble adapting to the tyres. Actually there is nothing strange. Many of the current riders regularly complain about the Italian rubber company. But for Kubica the process of adaptation would be even more difficult, because he did not have any experience with the tires Pirelli. Therefore, Williams decided not to risk it and opted for Sirotkin”.
“I can assure you that it was because he talked with the leaders of the team and they recognized that we are very excited to be working with Robert. This they said in all seriousness. In Williams no regrets broke up with Felipe Massa, who through the press tried to discredit the pole. On the first day of tests in Abu Dhabi spirit of the team was this: Sirotkina has a large financial support, but Kubica is the main favorite, and if all goes well, it will take the place of teammate lance Stroll. Unfortunately, as I said, there were a number of obstacles, and, most likely, we will never see the return of Robert in the Formula 1”.
“In modern Formula 1 is no place for the racers without sponsors behind. Despite the high marketing interest, Kubica was willing to pay about eight million dollars, but sponsorship package Sirotkin was two times more. In fact, money is only a bonus for the rider. If Robert was two times better than Sirotkin, would get a chance in the upcoming season. Do not forget that earlier, Renault, and Williams, refused the services of Kubica. After the tests at the Hungaroring, the team came to the conclusion that its speed is, shall we say, unsatisfactory.
“Yes, it is. Sounds cruel, but this is the harsh reality. There is hardly a person in the paddock who would not return Robert in F1. This is one of the most talented riders in history, who failed to disclose their full potential. Williams for his invitation would be a brilliant PR move that would attract new fans for the team and for the whole of Formula 1. His candidacy was interested even the leadership of the championship in the face of the FIA”.
“Of course, it wasn’t the easiest choice. Now Williams criticize everything, blaming the callous attitude to Kubica. Experts insist that the couple Sirotkin – Stroll would be the worst thing in Formula 1. The correct decision was made in Grou? Only time will tell. Remember, in racing one and never look back. When making decisions, there is no place for emotions, the only thing that matters is results, and Kubica was not able to guarantee them”.
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