Williams rejects Robert Kubica replacement speculation

Williams F1 driver Robert Kubica

Williams has dismissed speculation suggesting that Robert Kubica could lose his seat during the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Kubica joined Williams ahead of the 2018 campaign, acting as test and reserve driver, and for 2019 stepped up to a race seat, ending an eight-year absence from the starting grid.

Williams has struggled for performance through 2019 but Kubica has yet to out-qualify team-mate George Russell, and has beaten the youngster to the chequered flag just once.

Speculation in recent rounds has suggested that Kubica could be in danger of losing his seat, but Williams has moved to quash such rumours.

“I find the speculation quite frustrating, but unless you actually know, and are on the inside, you don’t know what is going on,” said deputy team boss Claire Williams.

“Our relationship with Robert is as strong as it was. He’s getting his head down and he’s doing what he needs to do and we’re trying to do everything we can to give him a better car so he can perform at the level he wants to.

“As far as I’m concerned, there are no frustrations from our side. I’m sure he has a level of frustration because he doesn’t have the equipment that he would like at the moment.

“We’re only halfway through the season so it’s a little early for us to be thinking about 2020 and the driver line up for next year.

“Saying that, we have started to think about it, but we’re in no position to be making any final decisions yet, and that probably won’t come until the third quarter of this year.

“But there is no thought about replacing Robert at all, during this season, absolutely not.”

Williams also emphasised that Russell will be remaining with the team into 2020.

“We haven’t had any conversations about George potentially leaving the team in the short term because he’s on a long-term contract with us,” she said.

“So George is, for me, I feel he is world champion material and why would I want to lose George from our team, I would do everything in my power to keep George Russell at Williams.”