F1: Kubica fuels the debate: Is there a gap in F1 for a driver with so many sequels? | Formula 1


Kubica, with Williams, during the first free practice session in Montreal.

Last to see the checkered flag in Australia, Baku and Montmeló, penultimate in China and Monaco and fourth by the tail in Bahrain. Always behind his garage partner, who also exceeded him in the seven qualifying sessions with a blushing margin of six tenths of a second. The last time, yesterday, in Canada, whereRobert Kubicarolled five tenths slower thanGeorge Russell, a debutant in Formula 1. The frustrations in Montreal are especially painful for Kubica, because in that circuit "so special" achieved, in 2008, the only victory of his career. Just a year before, right there, he had suffered a horrifying accident that almost cost him his life. Too many emotions gathered in the same scenario.

"I came with good humor and without drama, but of course there are no big surprises," admitted Kubica on Thursday as soon as he took possession of his box on the Island of Notre Dame. The expectations in Williams, the worst team on the grid, were not going to change despite the new specification in the Mercedes engine. The pinch of extra power for the big straights still does not compensate for the deficiencies in the braking system. Or the bad traction to leave with power of the slow curves.

All these difficulties multiply for Kubica, with a notorious mobility deficit in the right hand. In fact, some comments on its limitations have already stirred the debate. "Maybe in other categories it's viable, but never in F1, which should always be the top of the competition. I do not think it's good to open this sport to pilots with disabilities, "he said.Jacques Villeneuevea few weeks ago. Both have known each other since their time at BMW, more than a decade ago. "He was an unbearable guy," admitted the world champion on more than one occasion.

Always last on the grill

Beyond this delicate controversy, the numbers show that these eight years of forced absence seem to have been too heavy for Kubica, relegated to the last place on the grid in the seven races. From that well, any option is reduced to a minimum. "So far I think I did very well in the first corner or in the first lap, when you have to get, more than anything else, the instinct of competition," he argued after his recent battle in Monaco, where he could at least reach the finish line. in front ofAntonio Giovinazzi(Alfa Romeo).

As difficult as it may be to assimilate, the truth is that among all these obstacles, the most notorious is right next to him. "Yes, George is the strongest partner I ever had," said the 34-year-old veteran, who ran withSebastian VettelorNick Heidfeld. His complaints about the behavior of the chassis, a constant since the start of the World Cup, were finally taken care of byClaire Williamsin Barcelona. In case there was any doubt, the panorama did not change with the exchange of material either.

With all these variables on the table, it does not seem unreasonable to extend the questions about the immediate future of Kubica. The link with Williams is based on the support of PKN Orlen, the oil giant that injects 10 million euros annually into the adventure. Any questions from the Polish consortium would trigger an anticipated end. As if that were not enough, in the last hours the threatening figure ofNicholas Latifi. On Friday, the son of the Canadian billionaire, leader of the F2, returned to sit on the W42 during the first free session. And he finished last, of course.

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(tagsToTranslate) sports / formula-1 (t) sport – motorsports – formula one (f1) (t) Robert Kubica (t) flag (t) box (t) tail (t) classification (t) margin (t) accident (t) Formula 1 (t) Williams F1 (t) GP Canada F1


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