Robert Kubica admits he is lacking confidence and feels only “20 percent” prepared for the start of the 2019 Formula 1 season. 

The Pole will make his much-anticipated return to grand prix racing at the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, having recovered from severe injuries that initially cut-short his F1 career back in 2011. 

But his preparation for a first F1 race since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been far from ideal, with car delays causing Williams to miss the opening two days of pre-season testing in Barcelona

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While the British squad recovered to make some progress, it remained last in terms of the mileage and laptime charts, with Kubica completing the fewest laps of any driver on the 2019 grid in his two-and-a-half days behind the wheel of the FW42. 

“Going to the first race after eight years without doing a proper job of testing will be difficult,” Kubica said. “But this is the situation and I cannot change it, so I have to make sure we are doing everything we can from my side. 

“Probably I know 20 percent of the things that I should know before going to Australia. The rest is unknown. I haven't done longer than 15 laps long run, so there are a lot of question marks. But that's the reality - we did the maximum of what we had.” 

Kubica said he was initially encouraged by his run on Wednesday afternoon - describing it as one of his “best in a Williams car” - before losing confidence once more. 

“My last real run when I felt the car well was [Wednesday] afternoon, first run, when the car did things which I was nicely surprised [about]. 

“It was one of the best of my runs in a Williams car so I get up a lot of confidence, but since then my confidence disappeared, because the car was not in the right state.” 

Asked for a realistic goal for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Kubica replied: “First of all we have to make sure the car stays in one piece!

“Because the reality is, my test ended after the first run in the afternoon [on Wednesday]. The rest, I have to forget how I drove and what I felt.”

Teammate George Russell admitted Williams is currently the slowest team on the grid heading to Melbourne but was left “very positive by the big step” the team has made across the fortnight.

 

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