Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas has said he is sure that Robert Kubica‘s return to Formula 1 will boost the morale of Williams Racing following a dire 2018 season.
Following the departure of Nico Rosberg after his 2016 Championship win, Bottas was drafted in to replace him, vacating his seat at Williams. The team struggled, failing to repeat the successes of years gone by, having the worst season yet in the sport last year, where they finished at the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship, scoring a mere seven points in all.
2019 will see an all new driver line-up for the Grove-based outfit, as rookie Sergey Sirotkin is left without a seat, with his Canadian team-mate Lance Stroll moving to Racing Point F1 Team; Kubica will be paired with ex Mercedes Junior driver George Russell.
Bottas said: “For Robert it will be nice to see how it goes. He’s been racing for a while, so it will be nice to see how he compares to George Russell.”
“I think for the team, that has had a tough team – and I know how difficult it is to keep up the motivation and the good spirit when things are tough – maybe a new drivers’ line-up will bring more positivity and things to look forward.”
He added: “I’m sure they’ll be full of energy, both drivers, for the great opportunity they’re both having. Hopefully that will help put Williams where they deserve to be and not where they are now.”
There have also been a number of changes within the team, including the departure of Race Engineer Rob Smedley, with Team Principal Claire Williams hopeful the team will be able to start afresh for the upcoming season.
Kubica’s return to F1 hit the headlines when it was announced at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, nine years since his last stint in the sport, after his right forearm was partially severed during a rally crash at the start of 2011.