Robert Kubica believes the experience he will bring to Williams will have a major impact on its attempts to recover from 2018, on top of his driving performances.
Williams finished bottom of the constructors’ championship last season with just seven points to its name, 26 adrift of Toro Rosso in ninth place. The team struggled with an uncompetitive car throughout, while it also had an inexperienced driver line-up as Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin had started just 20 grands prix between them at the start of the year.
While Kubica says he understands the questions about his ability to perform at the highest level due to serious injuries sustained in a rally accident in 2011, the 34-year-old insists there is much more he will bring to the role than just his driving skill.
“From my side, I started getting very confident that I can do it in the end of the (2017 season) but of course it takes much more than just my side,” Kubica said. “So there’s a lot of things involved. As you can hear — and I heard it for many years — people struggled to believe that I could do it.
“Probably something in favor of Claire (Williams, deputy team principal), but all team managers and all team principals… if I was a team principal I would also have doubts. But that’s the reason why (the last year) has been very useful because the first meeting I remember I said (to Williams) that if you have any doubts we shouldn’t be doing it. Because in difficult times it’s easy to point out the fingers on my arm but I want to make sure that you are sure that I can do it.
“First of all, I have to be sure I can do it, and that’s why I’m here. But second of all, all of the team has to be convinced that I’m able to do the job.
“We talked a lot about driving but I think I can give a lot to the team away from the car. And I think in the position the team is, we will gain much more also on work outside of the car, rather than only by driving.”
Kubica will be paired with rookie George Russell in 2019, with the Briton winning last year’s Formula 2 championship and enjoying experience testing for both Mercedes and Force India in the past.