Piotr

What is Williams doing to Kubica????

2 posts in this topic

The fact that the British press is reporting only half of the facts regarding Williams got me thinking. The fact that Williams is so far behind is well known and there might be a lot of reasons. More puzzling is the fact that Kubica is consistently outperformed by Russell. Now, if these were hundreds or thousands of a second, it could be easily explained by driver's skills (strange as it would be anyway). However, we are talking 0.5 s, which normally means difference in the cars. Williams as much as admitted it after GP china - they had no choice, as when Kubica and Russell swapped floors and nose cone, Kubica was faster in FP-1 by... 0.5 seconds. (they used their own floors and cones for the rest of the weekend, and Kubica was again slower by 0.5 seconds). Kubica said that at the same settings, his car's grip is 8% off the Russell's Having a capability of reading British, as well as Polish press (and, therefore, also German and Italian one), I gathered the following:

1. Chassis - The chassis that Kubica has been driving was built for Barcelona testing. It is widely believed that, besides having over 6,000 km (oldest on the grid), it was faulty due to manufacturing defects. Specifically, it is likely too flexible (thus Kubica cannot attack the kerbs without shedding pieces of his floor). This would explain hitting curbs (too much flexing), lack of predictability, and 8% differencec in aero from Russell. Russell got the newer chassis built to spec. Kubica was to receive new chassis in Barcelona, but after Baku fiasco, it went to Russell (again). Williams stated they have no intention of building a fourth one at this time. Bad luck Kubica.

2. Rest of the car - Kubica seems to be given used spare parts from Russell's car or broken parts repaired by his crew. This includes his floor. Russell receives a complete set of new spares to go with his new chassis. Not to mention Kubica's car develops weird faults and ailments. For instance, in Baku, his brakes worked unpredictably locking at weird moments. 5 minutes before his crash in Q 1, Kubica reported that his brakes don't  work correctly. The press took his explanation after a crash as admitting to an error - what he actually said was that he did not / could not (as a Polish person, his word choice could mean either) properly adjust to the changing brake characteristics. Watching video of his first turn in Baku, it's clear that his brakes locked up again and he almost crashed in the same spot. The car CLEARLY  swerved to the right, as he was turning left. Not to mention pieces of his car falling off in every race. 

3. Pit Crew - Russell so far had flawlessly  performing pit crew. Kubica's pit crew committed 2 pit stops of over 10 seconds each (both time crew mistakes). And, of course, that drive-through penalty in Baku due to the race start procedure infringement. Does anyone in Williams know F1 regulations????/

3. Race management  - this one is probably the second worst of his worries after chassis . The transcript of his conversation with his race  engineer shows a complete inability of his race engineer to properly communicate appropriate data to Kubica either by complete ineptitude or lack of engagement in the race. How that engineer has a job, is a mystery to me. Not to mention completely baffling strategy, which seems to be designed to slow Kubica down every time he gets close to Russell (like pitting him 7 laps AFTER the virtual safety car, or changing his fast tires to slower once BEFORE the faster ones even started to degrade, or switching his engine to a slower mode):

 https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/bioryi/1_oclock_or_11_oclock_engine_mode_6_and_100/

4. NOBODY on the team talks to Kubica about car improvements. Note, that in EVERY interview when asked about improvements or engineering work, he says " talk to George or the team." this is from the guy who is legendary about giving invaluable information about the car to the engineers (reportedly, last years mid-season improvement was due to the comments he gave engineers).

Taken one at a time, these issues point to a badly run team that just doesn't care. Taken together, they point to something more sinister.

At the beginning of the season, several Russian bloggers commented to Polish bloggers that they feel sorry for Kubica, because Williams WILL destroy his comeback just like they destroyed Sirotkin's career. I did not understand what they meant. Now I surely do.  

 

Edited by Piotr

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Just One day too OLD and One Hair too BALD.

 

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