Robert Kubica says he has more confidence in the cockpit than when he made his Formula 1 return a year ago in Budapest.
The Pole carried out initial tests in old F1 cars for Renault in 2017 before running a full day during the in-season test in Budapest last summer. Eventually overlooked for a race seat, he tested another current car for Williams in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year before signing with the team as test and reserve driver.
This year, Kubica has run during pre-season testing, in-season testing and FP1 sessions. Reflecting on his latest day in the FW41 in Budapest on Wednesday, Kubica said: “It was all OK.
“We did have a bit of a mixed program with some data collection for next year, and trying to understand how we can make the car work better for next year’s car. But we did do a few runs with a current specification car as well. So the feeling was good.
“Twelve months ago I was here for the first time with Renault, and after 12 months I can say everything is easier! One year ago everything was new for me, especially with the new generation of Formula 1, and now everything is more familiar, easier and I’m more confident. So all good.”
Part of Kubica’s running on Wednesday – when he finished sixth overall – involved the use of a 2019-specification front wing late in the day, with Williams covering the car in multiple colors of flo-vis aerodynamic paint.
“I don’t know [if it will be good], it’s too early to say,” he admitted. “It was just more for the aero guys to get more information about it and what it does to the rest of the car and how the airflow is going to be distributed differently. We did end up also with trying a new livery on the last run with new paint. It looked nice, so maybe a change for next year!”
With Kubica not scheduled to drive again until Abu Dhabi, Budapest was his final chance to impress Williams on track, and the 33-year-old was pleased with his pace even if he attempted to downplay lap times.
“Actually I did a better lap on softs in the afternoon [than the quickest time],” he said. “We just used the tires that we had. It was not about lap time but the feeling was good, the pace on the soft tire was very good in lap time so it was all good. But the track is better, so it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter.”