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Kubica to be named as Williams reserve for 2018 - report

Written by  Jan 13, 2018

Though a return to racing in Formula 1 will have to wait a little longer, Robert Kubica could still be in the paddock as Williams official reserve driver for 2018, according to a media report.

The Pole was hoping to take the race seat vacated by the now-retired Felipe Massa for this season, completing a number of tests in the 2014 car in October before running in last year's Williams a the post-season test in Abu Dhabi.

However, now Sergey Sirotkin is set to be announced any day amid lingering concerns over Kubica's pace as well as the much larger financial backing the Russian possesses.

"The decision will be very quickly formalised," French newspaper L'Equipe was quoted as saying on Friday. "Kubica will be offered a test driver role, probably with a few Friday morning test sessions at a number of Grands Prix."

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Hiring the 32-year-old in that position could tie in with a claim by the BBC earlier this week which suggested an inability to optimise the performance of the Pirelli tyres hampered the former Grand Prix winner and was also part of Williams' call to sign Sirotkin.

Mario Isola, the motorsport boss at the Italian supplier, seemed to back up that statement too, telling Racer Kubica should be given more time to get to grips with the current generation of cars and tyres.

"You cannot pretend that any driver [in his situation] jumping in a car will be quicker than a driver who was involved in many tests or many races," he said. "Give him the time to adapt and to show us the full potential. I believe he is still a very quick driver.

"I believe that Robert is a professional driver with a lot of experience, he has the feeling. Obviously, I was asking him for some opinions on the tyres and he has a precise idea of the performance, degradation, how to drive and so on."


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