Drivers literally applaud Kubica's return

14/03/2019
NEWS STORY

Despite the poignancy of the occasion following news of Charlie Whiting's death, there was a magical moment during today's press conference when the assembled drivers applauded Robert Kubica on his return to the grid.

Moments earlier, the Pole had given everyone something to smile about when he was asked what he thought of the decision to award a point to the driver posting the fastest race lap. "I don't think it's going to affect us for a while," he replied.

At which point, Daniel Ricciardo paid tribute to his colleague.

"I don't think we all know the extent of what he has been through to get back here," said the Australian. "It is a testament to his character but it's awesome to see him back.

"I've known him from when I moved to Europe back in 2007 which feels like a long time but yeah, just a testament to his character and I won't ask for everyone to applaud but I really think it's awesome for him to be here. We can applaud, yeah."

At which point, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Ricciardo broke into applause for their colleague.

"It has been a long time away from the sport," said the Williams driver. "Not really a lot of time to think about the emotions. You are focused on the job and learn as much as you can about the new F1 and trying to be ready.

"We didn't have a perfect start to winter testing," he added. "Let's see. We just have to maximise what we have."

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Published: 14/03/2019
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