Nothing seems to be going right for the Williams F1 team and Robert Kubica is not happy at all. The Polish veteran hit out at the team for removing its upgraded front wing from his car at the Japanese Grand Prix. He declared that their actions ‘crossed boundaries’ for “strange reasons”.
The problem is that there was only one front wing available, so Kubica and partner George Russell had to share. Admittedly, Robert Kubica was far more comfortable with the new wing and it remained on his car for second practice.
So, he was under the impression that he would keep the wing for qualifying and the race on Sunday. However, for some inexplicable reason Williams elected to retract it from either car.
“Friday was very good,” Kubica told Polish television. “First time for a very long time.
“We changed the front wing. It wasn’t supposed to be better and on the second car it did not give any advantage or was even worse. But my car felt a lot better.
“However, for strange reasons, the wing was taken from my car this morning before qualifying. I think there was just too much time to think about it on Saturday.”
Kubica: "…We started this morning before getting into the car, so yep, after disappointing Russia race there were…. decisions taken before qualifying without even letting me know, and I think this is not the right way."
Q: What were those decisions?
— Phillip Horton (@PHortonF1) October 13, 2019
“The typhoon passed, but I think the decision was not related to the track here, but more so to other reasons or choices. This morning, however, gave me a lot to think about. I knew some things, but this morning some boundaries were probably crossed.”
Williams clarified afterwards that there was no intention to race with the wing on either car in Japan.
In a statement to Motorsport.com, the team confirmed that the front wing was purely for test purposes. Instead, their plan was to test in in practice and run the win in another race at a future date.
Owing to Typhoon Hagibis the team did not want to risk running the new front wing. This was because, there was a real possibility of the car suffering damage before further tests in Mexico could be conducted.
The Japan wing controversy is just another nail in the coffin, right next to Williams retiring Kubica’s car during the Russian GP. That move was supposedly a precaution because it was short of parts following Russell’s crash at Sochi.
#Kubica rano: „Zespół powinien pomagać kierowcy, a nie przeszkadzać”
Po wyścigu: „Nowe skrzydło działało u mnie, ale przed kwalifikacjami z dziwnych przyczyn zostało zdjęte. Pewne rzeczy wiedziałem, ale granice zostały przekroczone i poranek dał mi dużo do zrozumienia” #ElevenF1
— Mikołaj Sokół (@SokolimOkiem) October 13, 2019
Kubica argued that the Suzuka wing decision was made without his knowledge and felt cheated. He noted that he felt good with the wing fitted to his car, especially when he constantly struggled with the Williams chassis.
“I was hoping after the really disappointing Russia we would be here trying to do our best and this is what we tried to do on Friday,” said Kubica.
“Actually on Friday I ended up with quite good feelings but my feelings were probably too good. Conditions were different but on Friday something happened which gave me quite a lot of confidence and improved my feeling in the car.”
“We agreed on something and then on Sunday morning things changed for whatever reason. I think it was not a decision of people who are here.”