Robert Kubica believes his reserve driver role at Williams has already placed him in a stronger position for a potential full-time Formula 1 race seat in 2019. 

Seven years after being severely injured in a rally crash that cut-short his promising F1 career, Kubica aimed to complete a remarkable race return to the sport for this season, having successfully tested modern F1 machinery last year. 

The 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner was ultimately beaten to a Williams seat alongside Lance Stroll by Sergey Sirotkin following extensive evaluations during post-season tyre testing after last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

Kubica split pre-season testing driving duties with Stroll and Sirotkin in Barcelona and insists he is already better placed for a full-time race seat than compared to the end of the 2017 campaign. 

“If I am able to prepare and use the opportunity to get me closer and then if I have the chance to drive or come closer to race I will be for sure more prepared than a couple of months ago,” the Pole said. 

“Every day you can learn something new and I think at the end of the year, I think I will be better - maybe not [a better] driver - because when I have been in the car I have different priorities. 

“It’s not about fine tuning and small details, it’s more my job to get a global picture and it’s more about feedback, trying to find weaker points of the car and give suggestions and ideas to improve the car,” he added.

“It’s not just about pure speed or pace but still it’s a good opportunity to learn new things and be in the car. 

“The regulations are quite restrictive for testing but still I will have the chance to drive and also it will give me the opportunity to drive the car while we are developing it, so understanding the development rate and the route we are going, will be important.”

Kubica says he is enjoying his role at the Grove-based outfit, adding it has allowed him a deeper understand than what he had when he raced in F1.

“It’s a good feeling for me. If you think where I was 12 months ago things have changed quite a lot. I am enjoying my position, it’s giving me quite a lot of challenges and also opportunities to see the team working, to see a different point of view of many things. 

“When you are a race driver you see things in the race driver mode. The engineers, technicians, mechanics, all the team is working, but when you are a race driver you you don’t get as deep as I have opportunity to get in this situation. 

“It’s a good opportunity and I’m enjoying it. It’s also good fun. I think it will be an interesting year.”