Paddy Lowe: Robert Kubica says Williams' 2019 car a huge step forward

Robert Kubica believes Williams has made substantial strides year-on-year with the driveability of its Formula 1 car, according to comments attributed to him by the team’s technical chief Paddy Lowe.

Williams spent 2018 often marooned at the back of the grid amid difficulties with its FW41, and has had a disrupted start to 2019 due to delays in readying its FW42.

Williams consequently completed the least mileage across the two pre-season tests in Spain and drivers George Russell and Robert Kubica finished at the bottom of the timesheets.

Williams’ test programme was also hampered by a lack of spare parts, with Kubica expressing frustration at the situation, while Russell accepted Williams is currently Formula 1’s slowest team.

But Lowe nonetheless pointed to comments made internally by Kubica at the inherent foundation of the FW42, believing Williams now has a stronger platform on which to develop through the season.

“Robert in particular has a lot of experience with last year’s car compared to George who only had a brief run and Robert has driven the old car a lot around [Barcelona] last year,” said Lowe.

“He had some very encouraging comments on the qualities of the car.

“He feels that we’ve made a huge step forward in terms of the platform with a car that is far more driveable and a car that you can work with from a driving point of view.

“You can control your management of tyres and control the balance and the pace which was definitely not a description we could give to last year’s car. That is very encouraging.

“It doesn’t talk about speed but it talks about a platform and given that it was one of our major objectives over the winter to design and implement a process within our engineering that would make cars with better properties and then go and deliver those better properties.

“That is a good step for us and a better foundation to move forward to the next stage.”

Lowe also refused to accept Williams was definitively poised to make up the rear of the pecking order when the Formula 1 season begins in Australia.

“Pace I am not going to comment [on] because that is a dynamic thing,” he said.

“We have to wait until Australia or beyond because Australia itself is a rather unusual circuit to see how it plays out. That is one of the excitements of this time of the year.

“Reliability I think we’ve been showing that in the days we’ve been running we are where we need to be.”