Robert Kubica insists he is not concerned by the lack of mileage he completed during the Pirelli tire test in Abu Dhabi this week.
Williams opted to split its running between both of its race drivers across the two days of testing at the Yas Marina Circuit, with George Russell driving on the first morning and second afternoon. Kubica managed just 32 laps on his first day in the car and had his running extended on Wednesday but still only ended up with an overall total of 88 laps. The Pole, who is returning to F1 racing next year, played down the relatively low mileage, however.
“For sure it would be better to have bit more laps, but let’s say we focus on some specific things and we went through our program with completely 100% results, so that’s positive,” Kubica said. “We just need to build up on these initial feelings. After the test from my side I’m definitely looking forward, and not stressed or anything, so all good.”
Kubica also took part in the same test for Williams a year ago alongside Sergey Sirotkin and ultimately missed out on a race seat at the time, but he says his own personal feelings during this week’s test were similar to in 2017.
“Nothing is really different — pretty similar, honestly. The difference is now I know next year I will be driving; last year let’s say it was uncertain. All in all it was not massively different. Of course we could focus on different things, and our program was different than last year.
“I have more experience so I know what to expect, how to behave and what to do. But still it was relatively few new things — the tires are a big factor of Formula 1, so when there’s a new specification of Pirelli tire you have to go through it, you have to get idea of how they behave on different compounds and see what Pirelli prepared for us for next year.”
With Kubica driving the car on three occasions following confirmation he will race for Williams in 2019, he says his next major input will come during pre-season testing when he can give feedback on the new car.
“We are in a position that first we have to focus on our main difficulties on this year. There is very little I can help during the winter but of course once the car starts running, then we will see strong points or things to improve. Hopefully we will have only strong points on next year’s car.
“Let’s stay realistic. The first job we have to do is decide tires, quite soon, so that’s why this test was very important, and we will try and go through the data. One of my goals is we have to make sure we do our best together with George and the team to prepare next year, starting already from this test and the next few weeks.”