Robert Kubica says his pace in the opening four rounds of his comeback Formula 1 season has been “much better than it looks” as Williams continues to struggle with the performance of its car.

Kubica returned to F1 full-time in 2019 after eight years away through injury, but has experienced a tough start to the year with Williams.

A lack of performance in the Williams FW42 car has left the team adrift of the rest of the field, with Kubica crossing the line as the last running driver in all four races, taking a best finish of P16.

Kubica said there were positives to be found in his displays so far this year, though, even if many of them were masked by the difficulties faced with the car.

“It’s not easy to take out some aspects which are very, very positive, but I think there are many things that are quite positive,” Kubica said.

“Probably some of them are hidden by general performance. But still a lot of things to improve, definitely.

“My driving and the pace is much better than it looks. Unfortunately, we are in this position. As I said it, will be already good we will not have additional issues that are taking out confidence and making your driving even more difficult.

“We struggle with the pace, but additionally we struggle with some other things we have to sort out.”

Williams is continuing to work to try and get to the bottom of the issues blighting the FW42 car, which appear to have hamstrung Kubica in particular.

Teammate George Russell has been more at ease with the car, prompting Williams to put Kubica in Russell’s chassis for the post-Bahrain Grand Prix test.

The team is understood to have been planning to switch Kubica to a new chassis for the Spanish Grand Prix, only to then have to give it to Russell after his collision with a manhole cover in opening practice in Azerbaijan.

“We have to get on top of this issue, and until now we were not able. We have to understand it,” Kubica said.

“In China, I was surprisingly happy. In Bahrain, George was happy, and I wasn’t. Friday [in Baku] I had in some sessions bigger problems, in some sessions smaller problems, but I was never 100% in the situation to drive and think about driving.

“As I said at the end last year, I came here saying that I would like to have a go on this track, and it’s still much better to be here than staying at home or watching races on TV.”

 

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