If you’ve listened to the podcast for a long time now, you’ll recall either Grace or myself referring to “Bobby K”, or Robert Kubica, and how he would take his frustration with a team to the public press for a little public paddling. It got particularly acidic when he didn’t feel the team were behind him or he was being held back by a bad car etc.
We’ve referenced this tactic over the years even when Robert was not in F1. When he was re-signed by Williams, Grace and I both said that this might be fun to see Bobby K ride again kicking the team from one end of the field (pitch) to the other if he gets frustrated. It didn’t take long.
The season hasn’t started yet but Robert is enduring a difficult testing session with Williams replete with an embarrassing late start to the test last week. Now they are behind the testing regimen and Robert says they are running out of time.
“Today was a productive day from one side but from another side maybe not because time is running out,” he explained.
“From a driver point of view, we haven’t done any work on the car so there is a lot of things to discover and unfortunately not a lot of time left before our first race.
“It’s not like people are not working – we have to keep working, keep improving and sorting out the things.
“Problems will not help us, so we have to put maximum effort into solving issues.
“If we have a smooth start to the season, it will help but we really have to put in maximum effort for that.
“[Today] was a normal day of testing, unfortunately we are running a bit late with our test programme because of the issues we had last week.
“So there are some mixed feelings because, on one hand, it’s positive that we did a lot of laps today, but from the other side there isn’t a lot of time left.
“We are not in the position we would like to be, especially from my point of view, but we are gathering lots of data and checking lots of different stuff.
“I hope in the next few days we will have more time to start playing with the car and seeing how the car reacts to different things.”
There’s always a firm, clear line between himself and the team even back when he was with Renault and Williams prior to his departure from F1. I wonder if today’s statement brought back some heartburn for Sir Frank.
Now, having said all that, he’s right. They are running out of time and I doubt they’ve been able to product the program they wanted to so he speaks the truth but my hunch is that Williams would prefer those discussion to remain internal as they are already working with a challenging narrative about a late start to testing, financial woes and the possible exit of Paddy Lowe.
I’ve been around long enough to know that those are all hints and innuendos and we won’t know anything until Williams tells us but having Robert draw lines and suggest that he’s done all he can but the team are behind, well, that’s not helping matters.
Hat Tip: Autosport