Robert Kubica believes his chances of securing a race seat with Williams in 2018 have taken “a big boost” from his performance during the Pirelli tire test on Tuesday.
The Pole is looking to return to Formula 1 more than six years after suffering life-threatening injuries in a 2011 rally crash. In line for a Williams seat next year, Kubica completed 100 laps at the Yas Marina Circuit on his first appearance in the team’s 2017 car and was encouraged by his progress in modern machinery since his Renault outing at the Hungaroring in August.
“Today has been a big boost in my confidence of what is possible and what is difficult and what is getting better,” Kubica said. “That’s very important. In the end I have to see also until where I can put my fitness level and to what level I can get by driving consistently those cars.
“Also weight is important. I use this period because this is the last test and if things go forward I will see you again in February. From now for three months there is no driving, so it is better to know things earlier. I have lost quite a lot of weight and it was good to see what I am doing at home helps, so there is a lot of work going on behind the driving – partly because of limitations and partly because I am away from the sport for very long.
“I think most of the questions were answered in a positive way and for sure if I continue it will not all come in Australia, but if I get the chance probably during the season I will be getting better and better. But what I have to do and what I’m trying to do is maximize my running time and between tests to obtain maximum preparation from myself.”
Explaining his limitations in the car, Kubica says he is adapting his driving to be able to extract more performance.
“Well, there is someone saying I’m driving one-handed, I’m not driving one-handed! For sure I think it’s impossible to drive a Formula 1 car with one hand. But for sure I have some limitations so in some way my body is compensating, which is not wrong; we are human beings and our brains are used to help our bodies overcome disabilities. This is normal daily life. This is something I think I’m on top of.
“Psychically I think I have done a great work, good work in the last six months. It hasn’t been easy, it was not like I have been lying in my bed, actually probably I’m in physically my best shape, by far a better shape than I was when I was racing in 2010.
“So the motivation is there and the body is reacting in a good way. Of course I’m starting nearly from scratch because Formula 1 has changed so much in the last seven years that it’s like nearly starting from zero, but my experience which I gained in the years I was racing in Formula 1 helped me to get on top of the learning process quicker than it used to be in the past. But still, it’s like being the first year in school!”