Claire Williams, Deputy head of Williams, spoke about the reasons that prompted the team to sign a contract with Robert Kubica, who will return to Formula 1 after 8-year hiatus.
Question: how Much time did it take you to make a decision about the contract with Robert Kubica?
Claire Williams: We were evaluating various options for several months, but everyone in the paddock know that he had indomitable will, great tenacity and a real passion for Formula 1. All this combined with his professional qualities make Robert the driver who we need next year.
But that’s not all. We know how talented he is, he has a very thoughtful approach to work driving and excellent engineering training will help the team to progress next year. During this season we talked a lot with Robert, he does have fighting spirit, and he knows how to set all to fight.
Question: Exactly one year ago here in Abu Dhabi, you too were thinking about the team. What happened over the past 12 months? Why now have you decided in favor of Robert?
Claire Williams: of Course, it was a very difficult year, and the last place in the team standings of the championship – not what we expected. We had to do an analysis of the problems faced by the team, but Robert took an active part in the program of modernization of the machine FW41, and now he will be included in the development process FW42. I’ve already talked about his excellent technical abilities, but he also perfectly knows how to motivate engineers and the management team.
He has great professional experience, and we remember what results he had achieved in the past, before the accident. I really want to see how will be the cooperation of Robert with George Russell, which they will show results.
As for lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, they worked perfectly in the team this year in very difficult circumstances, showing themselves as true professionals, and the team is grateful to them for what they did to Williams.
Question: this year there is a trend: the teams are ready to invite the pilots, the final performances in Formula 1, for back-up riders – for example, did in the Sauber. You have no such plans for Sergey Sirotkin next year?
Claire Williams We are now in the process of making decisions on the candidacy of the back-racer and are going to announce it next week. You will have to wait a bit.