Robert Kubica blames being distracted by changing settings on his steering wheel for losing out to his team-mate in the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix.
Kubica was out-qualified by team-mate George Russell for the fifth race in-a-row but started two places ahead courtesy his team-mate’s grid penalty. The F1 returnee Kubica enjoyed an opening lap scrap with Russell and was running ahead when the Pole said he was asked by the team to change settings on his steering and was caught by surprise when Russell overtook him.
“I started quite well but was squeezed a bit between both Racing Points, so I had to lift off in the middle of the straight and lost quite a lot of ground there,” said Kubica. “I then lost a position to George but regained it in turn four.
“My first stint wasn’t looking too bad but, before he overtook me, I got called to change a few things on the steering wheel and I wasn’t expecting him to be so close.
“I wasn’t practically ready to defend and by the time I saw him in the mirror, it was too late.”
Besides distracting steering wheel settings, Kubica was thankful for a late-race safety car period, the Pole suggesting he would have struggled with tyres on his way to an eighteenth place finish.
“We changed the strategy during the race and I think it was good the Safety Car came out as it actually split our second stint, otherwise it would have been very difficult for us to manage the tyres until the end.”