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Featured Kubica in Running for Williams Seat Following Two "Successful" Tests With Team

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Williams Robert Kubica.jpg
    Hopeful Formula One returnee Robert Kubica remains very much in the running for the second Williams seat next season, following two successful tests in a 2014 specification car.

    With Williams contractually and financially tied in to running 2017 Canadian rookie Lance Stroll in 2018, the most attractive seat left of the grid for next season remains very much open to challenge as the Formula One field head into the final races of the current championship year.

    It is widely thought that Williams have narrowed down their driver choice to 2017 number one Felipe Massa, reserve driver Paul di Resta, young Mercedes junior driver Pascal Wehrlein and most high profile of all, 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner and Formula One returnee Robert Kubica.

    Due to the devastating injuries sustained by the Pole in a rally accident back in 2011, Kubica has long been thought to be out of the running for making a successful comeback to the top level of open wheel motorsport.

    At 32 years of age, Kubica still has time on his side to achieve some of that lost potential following his big accident back in '11, however questions still remain as to his ultimate fitness ahead of a contract offer from a current Formula One team.

    The driver looked to be in strong contention for a seat at Renault before the French team opted for Toro Rosso refugee Carlos Sainz to replace the underperforming Jolyon Palmer in Austin, even going so far as to give Kubica seat time in an official Formula One test session in Hungary before electing to go with the young Spanish hotshot.

    However it appears that Kubica is now in prime position to move over to a recovering Williams team as the Grove concern look to lift themselves from their current performance slump despite running the pace setting Mercedes power unit.

    Williams have run Kubica in a 2014 specification car at both Silverstone and Hungary in a bid to assess if the driver retains enough fitness to compete next season, labelling the sessions "productive" as they "continue evaluations" ahead of a decision before the end of the current year.

    Another hopeful returnee, Paul di Resta, will also have the advantage of seat time in the Williams at Hungary as the squad looks to make a decision on what will happen for the 2018 season. With such a rich pool of talent on offer for next year, whoever the team end up choosing to run alongside Stroll could well be in with a shout and bringing around a change in fortunes for this once great team.


    Check out the Formula One sub forum for more news and discussions from the world of Grand Prix motorsport here at RaceDepartment.

    Would you like to see Kubica running in the other Williams next season? Who do you think the British team should pick? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  2. Stanislas

    Stanislas

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    I don't even wonder, sure that he'll be fast... he was already a very good/talented driver with a nice fighting spirit, he'll be even better with all he went through!
    Wish you the best Robert!
     
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  3. paracletus

    paracletus

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    Rosberg the manager.. succeed you will :ninja:
     
  4. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    An interesting situation.

    I know I'm in a minority but I feel Massa has driven a very solid season this year. He decided to leave F1 when he realised his only options were to go to a lower team (with Stroll joining) and he didn't want to do that.

    He's come back and done a solid job in a reasonable car. He drove very well at Spa when frankly the car just wasn't points finishing material. He's battled hard for the last few points, whereas last year I'm not sure whether he would have done. Baku could have been 2nd or a win for the team so in my view he's done well and I wish the whingers on Facebook would give it a rest.

    The issue that Williams seem to have suffered from again is just lack of development on the car. They were looking good at the beginning of the year but they are now starting to fall behind. Still a points finishing car but just off the pace.

    If Massa finds himself out of a seat at the end of year I just hope he finds a solid drive elsewhere. I know that Formula E was after him but I would prefer him in WEC.

    With regards to the choices Williams have. Robert I suppose is the emotional enthusiasts choice. My worry is not his fitness or ability but mindset. He's said many times already he wants a winning car. Sorry but Williams are still a long way away from that with the current regulations. So would he be happy finishing 8th, 9th, etc? I'm not so sure that he would.

    I have this feeling that the team will sign Massa for one more year, I'm just hoping that Paddy and the team manage to turn the team around into a major contender again :)

    We need Williams back with the top teams again :thumbsup:
     
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  5. Rhian

    Rhian

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    The problem is there's only 4 race winning cars on the grid, and 6 if some of the other 4 have issues. You said Williams might have nicked a win at Baku as well as Strolls podium. Maybe if you're Robert you gamble with Williams and hope you can get a win here and there.
     
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  6. Coffer

    Coffer

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    People are out of their minds if they think his fitness is anywhere close to a good enough level yet. He couldn't even stop crashing in rallying, and that's outside of the WRC. He has no hope in F1 now. The only reason he's even remotely in contention is because he's become a pay driver thanks to the mass hysteria surrounding his return (which you can thank the British (and for once, Polish) media for), but seeing as papa Stroll wants someone to mentor his kid, I think Williams will find that if they get someone who's weaker and significantly less of a team player than Massa, his funding will just go down until eventually he decides to take his money elsewhere, at which point the team is utterly screwed.

    Williams need to focus on rebuilding, not taking chances. Paddy's latest interview shows that he's not managing to understand the car yet, as it's so terrible and devoid of potential that even the smallest of upgrades require massive changes to the car and especially the setup, and its low drag gimmick has run its course long ago. Surprising as it may sound, Pat Symonds completely screwed up the car. Problem is, as 2012 showed when they chose to sign the absolute worst driver of the last 6 years (Bruno Senna) over keeping Barrichello, Frank is absolutely incompetent when it comes to running a team now, so odds are Kubica might just make it. If he does, I don't see Williams being anything better than the 7th or 8th best team until 2021, by which point it will be too late as Martini won't want to associate themselves with a team that bad.

    They should just keep Massa until they can get Wehrlein without angering Martini.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  7. gamer19

    gamer19

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    Strange, I thought there's 6. :cautious::rolleyes:
    Did you exclude Red Bull or Ferrari ?
    Perhaps Merc ? :D
     
  8. Enpassant

    Enpassant

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    There were not much drivers in the history which so good understands the car and his behaviour on the track. Good choice Williams! Keep goin! Go for Robert!
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. ears

    ears
    flying bollards Assetto Corsa F1 mod revival Premium

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    Interesting choice of photo for the thread.

    Is it a trick of the camera or is his right wrist really that thin?
     
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  10. Coffer

    Coffer

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    The latter. He needs a custom setup now.
     
  11. Patrick van der Meulen

    Patrick van der Meulen
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    With the reasoning he retired F1 last season, Copa NEXTEL Stock Car seems the most obvious choice. And yes, he had some good races. But he also seems to become more and more scorned and bittered. Making bad decisions on track because, well uhm.... He can. And nowhere as devestating as Vettels bad decisions. But bad for such a seasoned driver anyway ruining results for himself and other drivers.

    And the funny part is, now almost a year after his retirement from F1 which lasted for only a couple of weeks... He is upset about the team ignoring hem as the “obvious” choice for 2018. I guess it’s some frustration for never really be in control of his own future and always played the second violin for the larger part of his carreer.

    As for Robert Kubica, I don’t know... Is he fit enough to perform a whole season? I highly doubt it. Sure, a few races will be doable. But a whole season with all forces on only his usable arm and hand? Well, the future will tell. Wouldn’t mind it if he really returns though, he always were one of my favorites in F1. A true daredevil at heart.
     
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  12. Eckhart von Glan

    Eckhart von Glan

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    well, zanardi has shown what one can do with a custom setup, scoring wins in the WTCC back in the day. However 30 min races in WTCC are probably a far cry from 90 min. in a formula one car, where - if i am not mistaken - the powers working on your body are far higher. With so much fresh young talent around, I don't see how a team could consider the risk of taking kubica on, much as i admire his talent. if he succeeds, though, it will be a beacon of hope for many among us who face an uphill battle.
     
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  13. Coffer

    Coffer

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    Decisions such as...? If it's about Suzuka, I don't see anyone complaining about Alonso, the one who actually got a reprimand for his actions, and his previous blocks earlier in the season were far from intentional and primarily a result of Vettel getting clumsy and overtaking being difficult this year.

    You can thank Santander for that. Once he got warned after Australia 2010 that he would be fired if he didn't move for Alonso the next time due to Santander and Alonso threatening to leave after that race, his career was over. And no, he didn't retire willingly last season, it was nothing more than a necessary move to allow Stroll to join, much like how Glock stepped down of his own volition at the end of 2012.

    He also has every right to be upset when the alternatives are merely Kubica (formerly a good driver, but currently, unfortunately for him, an absolute joke fueled by nothing more than PR) and di Resta (who was 40 seconds behind Stroll in Hungary before retiring, and that's before Stroll got good). Without his bad luck (race win possible in Baku for instance), he would be carrying the team big time right now, yet Williams are completely throwing that away for the sake of a guy with no real future in the competitive parts of motorsport outside of going back to crashing WRC-2 cars. If he had his arm he would've been a serious option, but even with it, he was never better than Massa, being outscored by Heidfeld during their time together and peaking only in the best car of the first half of 2008 (Sauber) and one of the most underrated cars of the current decade (Renault). And yet, as it stands, Williams stand to make their biggest mistake since hiring Bruno Senna. You don't even need to be personally involved to be frustrated at Williams for even remotely taking this seriously. If other drivers were available, I would say otherwise, but in their current situation, without Bottas to rely on, Massa is far and away their best option, and anyone who says otherwise is probably just heavily invested in Kubica's potential return.

    Zanardi also happened to be absolutely awful in F1 even before his injury. The difference between the WTCC and F1 is night and day, as even beyond the effort required, you have to actually reach a certain standard, and with that arm Kubica has no hope in that sense. Doing race distances in tests is not an argument since generally those aren't done at race pace.

    That said, the "fresh young talent" argument doesn't work for Williams. It does for Renault, hence why they got Sainz once he became available - much as I still think their approach was morally disgusting, it was pragmatic and it gives them a solid lineup for next season. Problem is, Williams need Martini's funding and Stroll's money, which are critical for rebuilding the team under Paddy. Ideally they would get Wehrlein to partner Lance, but Martini need one driver to be at least 25, so the current 3 options are the only real ones for them, and while Kubica now has some funding from Polish companies and support from Rosberg, papa Stroll has said that he wants Massa or Di Resta at the team and has threatened to reduce his funding, so that would more than nullify what Kubica would bring to the table.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  14. Patrick van der Meulen

    Patrick van der Meulen
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    What I said, never really been in control of his own career. And the bad decisions I mention are racing for unholdable positions. Closing the door - rightfully - but on a manner such harsh he hurts his own race and that of his opponent.

    And blue flags are pretty clear, you have to let pass the faster approaching driver as quick as possible not harming the faster drivers time. Even if time differences would be close to nihil. I see it the same way as his driving tactics and racing for unholdable positions. Was it Vettel being clumsy, or was it Massa not willing to let Vettel/a Ferrari pass him and intentional holding him/a Ferrari up?
     
  15. Coffer

    Coffer

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    The moment you stop fighting is the moment you're out of the sport. The only exceptions are when it's in your best interest not to, but when you're in the midfield and you have to hold on to 5th in the championship with a car that is clearly no longer even the 5th best, those exceptions are rare. A very good example is Suzuka - the car was very clearly much worse than the Haas on race day, as Grosjean himself said that he could've beaten the Force Indias if he had clean air, so it's no surprise that he was eventually barged out of the way, nor is it his or Magnussen's fault that it happened. Even beyond that, he's not exactly done anything bad in terms of racing others lately either - if he had made a mistake a la CotA when he took out Alonso on turn 1 in wet conditions I would've agreed, but he's done nothing of the sort this year. Even in Spain he had nowhere to go as Raikkonen would've taken him out if he hadn't run into Alonso, who could've braked.

    Again, I don't see you holding that against Alonso, who actually did something wrong and was punished for it. Massa, on the other hand, had nowhere to move on a track that is simply much too tight for the current cars, as he was caught in a terrible position on the track - it's reminiscent of Permane's "KIMI GET OUT OF THE [redacted] WAY" message in India where he shouted at Raikkonen... in a place where it was impossible to pass.

    And no, simply slowing down and allowing an exploitative Alonso past in a faster car would actually be grounds for Williams replacing him, not the other way around. Or are you going to tell me that there's actually room to pass a lapped car in the esses without being overtaken but not at the hairpin? Because Massa was still faster than Verstappen on the main straight, and you can thank the terrible Renault engine for that. That's why Massa wasn't punished while Alonso was.

    He just messed up, panicking both times. In Spain Vettel outright locked up, and in Russia Vettel had no hope of overtaking Bottas even without Massa being there. I agreed with you originally, but one quick look at both incidents showed that Massa just drove normally for a lapped car. Yes, the Ferrari is a bitch to drive at full pace, is slower than the Mercedes (significantly so in Spain) and he's the best driver in F1 right now, but even the best of the best can make mistakes, as Schumacher showed. That's just how it is. Blue flags don't just mean you have to blindly destroy your race, not when you're actually racing people for important points. So long as you don't fall foul of the rules (when they're applied fairly and consistently, and Suzuka was a rare case this season where that actually happened), you're safe.

    You're also out of your mind if you think he intentionally held Vettel up. He's a die-hard Ferrari fan and is on good terms with Vettel. He has no reason to do anything of the sort, and a quick comparison to the way Alonso drove in front of Vettel in many races this season (and in front of Verstappen at Suzuka) should easily show you the difference between someone who holds up another driver intentionally and someone who doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  16. Patrick van der Meulen

    Patrick van der Meulen
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    This topic is about Massa posibility of losing his seat to Kubica. Not about Alonso ;). So it’s about Massa’s performance. And we both may agree to disagree to that regard :thumbsup:.
     
  17. Coffer

    Coffer

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    The point is that Massa is driving no worse than Alonso right now racecraft-wise (and is driving well even without taking him into account), contradicting your claim that he's making bad decisions on the track. At this point this issue in particular goes beyond mere opinions.
     
  18. gamer19

    gamer19

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    Coffer you're a typical fanboy. Just admit it so we can all move along... :)

    I mean... it's ok up to certain point but saying that Kubica return in F1 is a bad joke... really?:O_o: you obviously have no knowledge of F1 history and show no human dignity toward RK and all what he's been going through.
    If anyone should not love him that would be me, he step into F1 replacing my by far favorite driver. But here I am, admit that he was way faster than "my" driver and probably better humang being too.
    Rise. Rise above it all my friend.
     
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  19. Patrick van der Meulen

    Patrick van der Meulen
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    Mmmkay @Coffer, whatever... Have a nice day.
     
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  20. VirtuaIceMan

    VirtuaIceMan

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