Former Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone says that Williams Martini Racing shouldn’t wait to sign Robert Kubica for next year, believing that the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner can return to the sport an even better driver than he was during his first F1 stint.
Kubica, who was initially linked with the Renault Sport F1 Team for a 2018 return, completed a “successful” test for Williams at Silverstone on Wednesday. A further test is scheduled for next week at the Hungaroring and Ecclestone is convinced that the Pole is the man to take Williams back to the head of the F1 field.
“If Robert had not have had his accident, then I think by now he would have been world champion anyway, ” Ecclestone told Motorsport.com.
“I think he can come back even stronger than before. Mentally, I think probably he will be more aggressive than he was then: so I can only see good, good things for him.
“In terms of his physical conditions, years and years ago, when I had a race team, we had a guy called Archie Scott-Brown who drove for us.
“Archie was bloody quick and he was in a worse position than Robert, much worse, and he managed to be very successful and bloody quick. So I don’t think his injury will hold him back.”
It’s not just Kubica’s pace that will benefit Williams according to Ecclestone; talk of Kubica’s comeback has taken social media by storm and been one of the biggest talking points of the year, something that Williams’ marketing department and sponsors will find encouraging.
“If he does what I think he is going to do – be even better than before – then people will get behind him,” said Ecclestone. “He will be good to have for Formula 1.
“If I were Williams, I would definitely try to persuade him to join. Maybe they are going to lose Felipe Massa at the end of the year, I should think he has probably had enough, and if Robert is on board then he might wake up a lot of people there.
“The team hasn’t been performing as well as it should have done, and whether it is because of drivers or the team in general, I don’t know. Nobody knows. So it would be nice to get a guy who should be quick in the car to find out.”
Ecclestone isn’t the only high-profile figure backing Kubica; reigning world champion Nico Rosberg is part of a team managing the Pole’s attempt at a comeback, adding to the intrigue and testament to the how serious the possibility of seeing Kubica back in F1 is.
“Nico believes like I do very, very much in him. We are going down the same route. He just needs, like all of us in life, a little bit of luck in making sure – and hoping – that Williams wake up.”