Robert Kubica estimates he only completed 20 percent of the work he needed to do ahead of his return to racing in Formula 1 at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Williams had a difficult pre-season, starting with the on-track debut of its 2019 car being delayed until the afternoon of the third day of testing in Barcelona. The FW42 completed solid mileage once it was ready, but the missed mileage at the start of the first week was compounded by a final day that was ended prematurely due to fatigue of a number of critical bodywork parts, and Kubica says that leaves him on the back foot ahead of his first grand prix since 2010.
“We lost another day, so of course we did some laps but the car was far from optimal,” Kubica said. “This is a normal consequence of (the first) week, so unfortunately the biggest price is paying myself and the team as well.
“Going to the first race after eight years without doing a proper job of testing will be difficult, but that is the reality of the situation and I can’t do anything else but prepare as much as I can. Probably I did 20 percent of what I should know and do during this test. We will see.”
Kubica admits he is not in the situation he envisaged when targeting a comeback in F1 following a severe rally accident in February 2011, saying that the moments during the second test when he felt able to get the most out of the car had been overshadowed by the final day’s issues.
“This is the situation and I cannot change it, so I have to make sure we are doing everything we can from my side,” he said. “Coming back after eight years, I know 20 percent of the things I should know before going to Australia. The rest is unknown. I have not gone longer than 15 laps on a long run. So there are a lot of question marks, but that is the reality.
“We did the maximum of what we had. There are some positive things. My last real run when I felt the car well was (Thursday) afternoon, first run, when the car did things which I was nicely surprised. So I got up a lot of confidence but since then my confidence disappeared because the car was not in the right shape.”