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Kubica panicked at start

NEWS STORY
18/03/2019

Though, in his bid to return to the grid, Robert Kubica has driven a number of F1 cars, yesterday marked the Pole's first Grand Prix start since Abu Dhabi 2010, where he went on to finish fifth.

Aware that due to the inherent issue discovered with the FW42 that will take months to resolve, Kubica, who subsequently finished three laps down on race-winner Bottas, knew that it was going to be a long tough afternoon.

However, he had clearly forgotten how stressful a Grand Prix start can be... even when starting from the back row and not in the midst of a volatile midfield pack.

"It was my first standing start in eight years and four months," he told reporters. "I never did a standing start on the grid since Abu Dhabi 2010, and actually it was quite good.

"But I actually had a bit of a panic," he admitted, "because when I stopped I couldn't see the lights, the rear wing of the McLaren was hiding it, so I could see the first block but not the rest. So, I had to move to the left and there was an additional light, so it was a bit of a panic moment.

"I got a good launch but then I had a lot of wheelspin," he continued. "Running into Turn 1 I took it very safe, I moved a lot to the inside over the kerb, and I once I thought 'OK, this is over', I went through the first corner and then from what I saw Gasly moved quite a lot to the right.

"I think there was contact with Sainz," he added, "but I saw it on the video that he moved a lot to the right and he damaged my front wing, but I actually didn't realise until 100 meters later I'd lost the whole wing. I thought I'd lost half of it. Then this wing caused other damage to the car so we had to pit.

"The car was not feeling great," he admitted, "then additionally three laps into the race I lost one of the mirrors, which makes it even more difficult with blue flags! So it was quite difficult.

"Once I was in clear air I was told the pace was not bad, actually it was good for the car with the state it was in, and I nearly started laughing because from the inside it felt very bad.

"I'm leaving Australia with definitely more experience, and reasonably happy," he insisted, "although I would never think that I would say something like this having this pace and finishing so far behind, but that's the reality."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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1. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 18/03/2019 16:29

"Have Williams the same issue as 2018 that was never fixed all season? surely not."

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2. Posted by Batman, 18/03/2019 12:16

"I feel for the short future of Williams Racing, as we know them from decades. They are getting close to a need of a bailout and vulnerable to a buyer for the majority of stake. Hope the future will prove I'm wrong.."

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