Montreal-born Lance Stroll’s teammate for next season could be Robert Kubica, as his team might have revealed the signing in the just concluded Pirelli tyre tests.
The tyre tests are part of the regulation change that was introduced in the recent years to give the teams a chance to test tyre specifications to be used in the following season. It’s one of the few tests where the Testing of Current Cars (TCC) are allowed and as such the teams have a set of regulations to be followed. One of the major regulation being the cars driven by drivers without superlicense to be fitted with a green rear light.
Kubica due to his inactivity from Formula 1 does not possess a superlicense and thus should have ran with green light but the photos from the testing day shows him running with a red rear light.
The regulations also state that the drivers who are reapplying for superlicense have to go through the team.
There’s no point for Williams or any team to go through the hassles of applying for superlicense if they haven’t signed the driver.
Robert Kubica, the Polish driver whose time in Formula 1 saw him clinch Sauber’s only victory at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix. Kubica also has 12 podium finishes to his name and was considered as one of the most talented drivers at that time but had to end his career prematurely after his rally crash. Kubica is now on a comeback trail and was initially rumored to be Renault’s favourite for 2018 before they opted for Carlos Sainz.
Kubica tested for Renault at the in-season Hungary test in August where he ran with the green rear light as per the regulations.
It’s worth noting that Kubica did not run with red rear light on all days of the Abu Dhabi tyre tests. In one of the days, he did run with the green light, so all signs point out to him receiving the super license midway through the tests.
Williams have so far haven’t announced the signing yet but the Dutch and the Brazillian media reports have indicated that the deal has been signed.
Much of the Formula 1 universe have been rooting for Kubica’s return. The pole’s right arm was partially severed after his crash. Initially it was believed that he would never be able to drive a Formula 1 car but his tests with Renault and now Williams have proved that it’s not impossible.
Kubica’s time was the fastest of all the drivers that Williams tested.
by Bala Yogesh