Robert Kubica’s FP2 ahead of the Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix was “compromised” by a parts shortage which meant he had to drive a damaged car.
Kubica and Williams team-mate George Russell occupied the bottom two positions on both the practice one and two timesheets, with Kubica ending the second session four seconds adrift of Lewis Hamilton’s benchmark pace.
Williams endured limited running during pre-season testing, missing the first two and a half days in Barcelona as a result of its FW42 being delayed. Mileage on the final day was truncated by a lack of spare parts.
This spare parts shortage has carried over into the Australian Grand Prix weekend, with Kubica highlighting that his FP2 was hindered by having to drive with damage.
“The second free practice was quite a lot of compromises with some damage on the car,” he said.
“So, we try to rebuild the parts and fix the parts because unfortunately we don’t have a lot of spares. We have to try to do the maximum from what we have.
“The car is difficult to drive and if you’re faced with a number of damages it’s even more difficult.
“But anyway, I think it’s good to be here although it sounds strange, because normally if you are so slow it is difficult to find positives, but I think as always you try to do the maximum from what you have and this will be the target tomorrow.”
Kubica indicated that the damage was sustained from the kerbs and was an issue which first surfaced during testing.
“We faced similar issues in Barcelona,” he added. “It looks like we have to stay away from kerbs.
“It is not easy, especially when you are fighting to stay on track but the positive thing is that the afternoon felt better but unfortunately I was quite compromised by what is happening.”
Kubica is set to start his first F1 race since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after his career was seemingly cut short by a horrific rally accident ahead of the 2011 season.
The one-time race winner described being back in a race seat during an F1 weekend as “a great achievement and a good feeling.”