Robert Kubica will start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from the pit lane after his Williams Racing mechanics opted to make changes to his FW42 after he crashed out of Qualifying at turn eight.
The Pole had crashed into the barriers as he attempted a last gasp quick lap in a bid to get ahead of team-mate George Russell, with the damage adding to the cost of what Williams have had to pay out this weekend for repairs after his team-mate’s manhole cover incident on Friday.
Kubica admitted it was a self-inflicted incident after he clipped the inside wall before being spat out into the outside barrier, with the crash bringing out the red flags. He was set to start nineteenth and last on the grid in any case but he will now join Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly in making a pit lane start.
“At this track you pay a high price for a relatively small mistake,” said Kubica. “I knew it before I came here and unfortunately that’s just how it is.
“It was not a huge impact, but the doctors had to do the usual precautions and I am ok. I turned in too soon and clipped the wall at turn eight, which launched me to the outside of the next corner which is the narrowest point on the Formula 1 calendar.
“The temperature is not helping us, but this was a driver mistake and we will evaluate the car for damage.”
Williams opted for the changes to the car with the hope for Kubica to have a better feel of the FW42 in race conditions, with the Pole hoping to stay out of trouble on Sunday so to maybe capitalise on any potential points opportunities.
“Anything can happen and does,” Kubica is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “It’s one of those grands prix where you have to make sure that you see the chequered flag.
“Of course with many safety cars and many accidents, you have to be there so you have to be a bit lucky as well. It’s definitely a track where a lot of things happen and we’ve seen that unfortunately with me in qualifying.”