Singapore Grand Prix – Williams’ Robert Kubica says he’s proud of a personal achievement of finishing the race at Marina Bay.
Since the return of Robert Kubica to Formula 1 as a race driver in 2019, the Singapore round was the one he highlighted as being the biggest challenge to face this season. Hot, sweltering conditions combined with a pretty relentless circuit with no real opportunities for a breather, as well as the longest duration of the year, meant Marina Bay was a ferocious mental and physical workout for all the drivers. In particular for Kubica, who was racing this weekend with a shoulder injury picked up at home the weekend prior to Singapore.
Kubica then raced well at Marina Bay. While qualifying in last, as has become the norm in 2019, a good start saw him nipping at the back of Lance Stroll on the opening lap after clearing George Russell into Turn 1. Pitting later than some midfield runners, Kubica had the chance to battle with the likes of Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat. Later in the race, Kubica had the chance to fight with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen as the Dane struggled with a plastic bag on his front wing, and passed him on track for what was a rare overtake this year. He finished in P16 but was smiling as he spoke to media afterwards: “It was tough, we had a difficult race with a lot of things to manage.”
“We were pretty hot and struggling to follow the others and to manage the tyres. Then actually on the last set of tyres, I left the garage and there was huge vibration. At 250km/h, I struggled to see my dashboard on the straights. So, on the restarts, with the sparks going everywhere from the other cars it wasn’t easy.”
Kubica is without a drive for 2020, having announced over the Singapore weekend that he has decided to leave Williams at the end of 2019. He has been linked with a possible third driver role at Haas for next year but a race seat is unlikely at this point. Having successfully made it back to a Formula 1 race seat in 2019, 8 years after suffering calamitous injuries in a rally crash in Italy that ruined his F1 career, Kubica smiled as he spoke about feeling pride at finishing the Singapore race without errors: “The result isn’t great, which we expected, but the personal goal and achievement is quite big.”
“Looking at how tough this race is and looking at my condtion… I suffered a small injury last Sunday and I wasn’t 100% but I managed to do a difficult race with no mistakes. It’s such a difficult track and, knowing where I was only a few years ago, I think this is one of the biggest accomplishments of my career. But, it’s a personal one as the result isn’t there.”