Robert Kubica does not want to have his lap times compared to Sergey Sirotkin during pre-season testing after sharing a car with the Russian in Barcelona.
Sirotkin drove during cold conditions on Tuesday morning, with Kubica taking over for the afternoon session as the track temperature increased slightly. At the end of running, the Pole was over 0.3s quicker than the man who beat him to a 2018 race seat at Williams, but when asked about the lap times Kubica responded: “You cannot compare.
“I don’t care about my feeling, I have different job [as reserve and development driver] and I will never… the times are really irrelevant I would say, especially in my position.
“I’m here to help and try things. Actually driving in different conditions puts me in a difficult situation because I will not be racing. I have limited time in the car, so have to get confidence in the car very quickly, but conditions were difficult, so I have no time to take it easy.
“At the same time mileage is important, and the biggest thing is that I have no margin for any mistake. I know how limited we are because the team is pushing hard with development and the spare parts.
“It’s a difficult compromise but I think yesterday for the short running in difficult conditions we have to be pleased and I think we highlighted a few things and the feedback was pretty clear. So I think we have really done a lot and nearly the maximum of what we were able to do with the conditions we had yesterday.”
Kubica was scheduled to drive again on Wednesday afternoon, but heavy morning snow and low temperatures might scupper those plans. Despite that, he is encouraged by his first serious runs in the car, despite suggesting his out laps on Tuesday made him look “like a clown” due to the lack of heat in the tires.
“I know everyone is looking at lap times and there were a lot of comments that I was lacking one-and-a-half seconds in Abu Dhabi which is strange. It doesn’t really matter. What is positive is that I jumped into the new car [on Tuesday] and in 20 laps I was actually able to drive it in a good way without any big preparations.”