Robert Kubica will be back in Formula 1 in a full-time role having been handed the reserve and development driver seat at Williams.
Sergey Sirotkin was confirmed as Lance Stroll’s teammate for 2018 earlier on Tuesday, with the Russian securing the seat after impressing Williams during the Abu Dhabi tire test back in November. While Kubica had been in the frame for that drive, the Pole has now been confirmed in a reserve role that will see him take part in an F1 race weekend for the first time since his serious rally accident in 2011.
“I am delighted to announce that Robert will be joining Williams as our reserve and development driver for the 2018 season,” deputy team principal Claire Williams said. “All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved, and it is a great credit to his strength of character and commitment to return to Formula 1. We are excited to be continuing our relationship with Robert and look forward to working with him this coming season.”
The team has confirmed that Kubica will take part in pre-season testing, in-season testing and a number of Friday practice sessions this coming year. Chief technical officer Paddy Lowe says Kubica’s experience – having worked toward an F1 return extensively over the past year – will prove beneficial to the team this season.
“First and foremost, we’d like to congratulate Robert on what he has achieved so far,” Lowe said. “To overcome his injuries, return to fitness, and drive a Formula 1 car again is a remarkable achievement, and one that few considered possible.
“We anticipate Robert will make a strong technical contribution to the team, using his wealth of experience in track testing, simulator work, and support to the race drivers and engineers at every race. He is a driver I have admired for many years and I am personally very happy to be working with him towards our 2018 championship.”