Robert Kubica may have missed out on a race return to Formula 1 in 2018 after Williams Martini Racing announced Sergey Sirotkin as Lance Stroll’s team-mate, but the Pole has been confirmed as the Grove-based outfit’s Reserve and Development Driver.
Kubica had been one of a host of drivers linked with the drive for the 2018 season, including Pascal Wehrlein, Paul di Resta and Daniil Kvyat, but Sirotkin usurped them all to take the final available seat on the grid, but the Pole is still happy to be given the responsibility of reserve driver for the upcoming season.
Kubica insists he is in the best physical shape he has ever been, and he is now focused on helping Williams develop their 2018 challenger, the FW41, and help the team move forward, with his role involving participation in pre-season and in-season testing and some free practice sessions.
“I’m extremely happy to be joining the Williams team as its official Reserve and Development Driver this season,” said Kubica. “I feel in the best physical shape that I have ever been, but it has taken a lot of work to get to where I am now, so I’d like to thank Williams for the opportunities they have given me so far, and for putting their faith in me with this appointment.
“I have enjoyed being back in the Formula One paddock over these past few months, and I now look forward to working with the Williams technical team, both at the factory and at the track, to really help push forward the development of the FW41 and to make a real difference to their 2018 campaign.
“Having driven both the FW36 and the FW40, I’m looking forward to seeing how the FW41 measures up on track and working with the team to ensure we can maximise the performance of the car.”
Kubica insists he is still focused on making a racing return to Formula 1, having last competed in the sport back in 2010, just prior to a career-threatening rally accident that cost him years of his career.
“My ultimate goal remains to race again in Formula 1 and this is another important step in that direction: I cannot wait to get started,” said Kubica.