Published: Sat, February 17, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Kubica older, wiser and happy to be back in F1

Kubica older, wiser and happy to be back in F1

Williams showed off their 2018 Formula One vehicle on Thursday, with technical head Paddy Lowe signalling a change of direction as the former world champions seek to get back among the frontrunners.

"But externally the team has pursued a very different aerodynamic concept which has allowed us some significant progress in aerodynamic performance".

But a year ago, the Williams cars were no match for the Mercs, finishing 5th in the Constructors' Championship and well behind 4th-placed Force India. It will face fierce competition from an ever-improving Renault outfit and a McLaren team that has broken free from the shackles of its Honda partnership.

"Aerodynamics, structure and weight are the three major trades to be made in designing a Formula 1 auto, and all the work, alongside a number of radical changes to the car's packaging to incorporate further developments from Mercedes HPP, have led us to the FW41 being revealed today".

The Grove-based team are heading into the new campaign with Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin as their main drivers, with Robert Kubica providing plenty of experience as the team's reserve.

"I hope we deliver a strong element of that in this auto".

Robert Kubica says it is crucial he gets seat time in the 2018 Williams auto as part of his role as reserve and development driver, after confirming he will take part in three FP1 sessions.

"It's great if a driver has financial partners, it's great for the team and the driver".

Sergey Sirotkin will be a "surprise" in 2018 and should not be depicted as a "pay driver", Williams have insisted.

"I've spent a lot of time at the factory, I'm nearly living there at the moment", said the Russian.

"I think the terminology or the vocab used around pay drivers is wrong, it's inappropriate and it's unnecessary, and it puts negativity round a driver that we just should not be doing in this sport anymore".

"I will do three FP1s, I will do some preseason testing and in-season testing", Kubica said.

"The simulator plays an important role, as I am part of this project it is important to build up a link between this tool and the real world". It will be interesting to go back to some of the places I have been before, some of them providing different emotions from different moments in my life.

"I am a different person to where I was past year", said Stroll. Those who had hoped to see it in the flesh will have to wait until testing in Barcelona on February 26.

"We have got to the stage where we are finding things in the tunnel and it's on the cusp of 'can we get to them for the first race?'"

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