Robert Kubica: My pace and driving better than it looks

Robert Kubica has insisted that his “driving and pace” has been “much better” than it appears in Formula 1 this season, due to the limitations of Williams’ FW42.

Kubica returned to a Formula 1 race seat this season after an eight-year absence but has regularly been at the back of the pack amid Williams’ struggles.

Kubica has qualified behind team-mate George Russell at each grand prix, coming closest in China with a deficit of just three-hundredths, and has yet to beat the Mercedes-backed rookie in race trim either.

Kubica has also been lapped nine times across the course of the first four races, such is the extent of Williams’ lack of performance.

“It’s not easy to take out some aspects which are very positive but I think there are many things that are quite positive,” he said.

“Probably some of them are hidden by the general performance but there are still a lot of things to improve, definitely, but my driving and the pace is much better than it looks.

“Unfortunately we are in this position.

“As I said it will be already good [when] we will not have additional issues that are taking out confidence and making your driving even more difficult, because we struggle with the pace but additionally we struggle with some other things we have to sort out.”

When it was put to Kubica that the start of the European season is a chance to reset, he replied: “Well I hope but we have to get on top of this issue and until now we were not able.

“First of all we have to understand it. In this area in China I was surprisingly happy, George wasn’t, George was happy in Bahrain and I wasn’t.

“On Friday [in Azerbaijan] I had in some sessions bigger problems, in some sessions smaller problems but I was never 100 per cent let’s say in the situation to drive and think about driving.

“As I said in the end last year I came to Baku saying that I would like to have a go on this track, and it’s still much better to be here than staying at home or watching races on TV.”