Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe says “it will be interesting to get feedback” on its struggling FW41 from Robert Kubica as he prepares for his first FP1 outing for the team at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Kubica, who signed as Williams third and reserve driver at the start of the year despite targeting a full-time return to Formula 1, was on hand during pre-season testing at Circuit de Catalunya but hasn’t driven for the British squad since the winter.

The former F1 race winner will be back on driving duties for Williams during the first free practice session ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, taking over from Sergey Sirotkin, before returning for the second day of the in-season test at the Barcelona circuit next week.

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Having had two months since Kubica's last F1 outing, Williams technical boss Lowe is eager to understand how the Polish driver feels the car has changed between pre-season testing and over the opening four races as well as the initial feedback on the team’s upgrade package in Spain compared to full-time drivers Sirotkin and Lance Stroll.

“We have Robert Kubica taking part in FP1 in place of Sergey; his first of three FP1 appearances this season,” Lowe said. “We have a busy Friday programme and it will be interesting to get Robert’s feedback on the car.

“Sergey has driven many laps on this track in pre-season testing so he won’t miss out too much.

“We are bringing a reasonably significant upgrade to this race, but probably not different to most other teams. It’s going to be a busy weekend for us.”

Williams has suffered a difficult start to the 2018 F1 campaign with its FW41, the first car to be overseen by Lowe since his switch from Mercedes last year, with its struggles focused around corner entry and stability.

Lowe is keen to fully utilise the post-Spanish GP two-day test, where Oliver Rowland will make his Williams test debut on the first day before handing over to Kubica, as it looks to turnaround its fortunes.

“We have a huge programme to fit into those two days to make progress with the development of the car,” he said.

Williams currently sit bottom of the F1 world constructors’ championship but notched up its maiden points of the year with Stroll taking eighth place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last time out.

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