Williams F1 driver Robert Kubica has not been the driver he once was since his accident in 2011. During his slow and gradual acclimatisation to racing, he used a specially modified steering wheel to accommodate his disability.
Sadly, he was not afforded the same luxury when he made his grandiose return to Formula One. In fact, he had to wait until after the summer break to get his customized steering wheel.
As it turned out, the Polish veteran wanted a steering wheel, where the buttons were situated on the left-hand side, where his good hand is.
“It was supposed to be a steering wheel which [I would] start the year [with],” he told Autosport Magazine. “But it came a bit later than the start of the year.
“Two buttons are, instead of [on the] right, are on the left-hand side,” he explained. “And there is an additional paddle on the left-hand side.”
According to senior Race Engineer Dave Robson, the new wheel will be a massive boon for Kubica. So, in the final stint of the season, the 36-year old will be able to perform better.
“This new wheel makes it more accessible and easier for Robert as well,” he said. “It just makes it a little bit easier to access all the functions.”
“I think it’s more that it’s been frustrating for him, rather than the actual lap time loss.”
Admittedly, Kubica is Williams’ only point-scorer this season, though the stats tell half the story. The truth is, for most of the season, teammate George Russell has been consistently beating Robert Kubica.
Now, with the new steering wheel, it will be interesting to see if he can keep up with his younger teammate or even beat him. Sadly, Kubica will no longer be racing in Formula One in 2020 as he has elected not to continue with the team.