Robert Kubica says his lap times aren’t relevant to his value to Williams after returning to a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time in over seven years.

Having enjoyed a handful of F1 tests with Renault and Williams over the past 12 months, the Spanish Grand Prix marks Kubica’s first outing at a race weekend since the 2010 F1 finale, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he took over from Sergey Sirotkin for FP1 at Circuit de Catalunya with the British team.

While Williams’ performance issues were heavily revealed at the Spanish circuit, with both Kubica and Lance Stroll ending FP1 bottom of the times, the Polish driver did outperform the Canadian by 1.2 seconds despite running different programmes.

But Kubica has moved to say the lap times aren’t hugely relevant considering he last drove the FW41 over two months ago in winter testing and feels his sole focus is on helping Williams improve its tough start to 2018.

“I know my value. I don’t have to look at lap times,” Kubica said. “It sounds strange. Often people forget motorsport is a sport. All sportsmen are practising and training as often as possible. I know that if I would have a chance to drive the car every week, like permanent race drivers, there is more room to improve.

“I have seen it in winter testing, when I jump in after two months, and I have seen it now. Whatever is missing is only a question because I’m only doing it every two months – if there is something that is missing.”

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Despite his long wait between opportunities to drive for Williams, with the former F1 race winner returning to testing duties next week in Spain, Kubica’s says the emotions of his comeback to the sport from his horrific arm injury is having less of an impact. K

ubica suffered a severed forearm in a rallying accident at the start of 2011 which saw his F1 career cut prematurely short until a mooted comeback began with Renault early last year before seeking opportunities at Williams this season.

“I feel I have less emotions which is good. It means it is becoming more natural after a long time that I’ve been out of the sport,” the Williams test and reserve driver said. “In the end, it’s difficult to say it was enjoyable because our car balance was very bad and it was very difficult to drive so it was difficult to enjoy.

“I’m satisfied with the session, and how I react to difficult conditions and difficult balance. It sounds strange that you can be happy about P19, but actually I’m happy.

“We know exactly what is our weakest part of the car. What is good, we started a project which should help us to understand better, improve it and hopefully solve it completely. It’s not a question of one day or one month, probably it’s even more. So we have to be patient.

“Miracles will not happen, we will have better tracks, for example Baku. Coming to Barcelona, I was expecting to be in a difficult situation. FP1 was even more difficult than expected. We will try to help our main drivers with the balance of the car, to make it easier for them to drive.

“Performance is a different story. We have to fix our many issues, in order to think about performance and trying to attract the maximum from what we have.”



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