Williams: Kubica determination embodies team's 'fighting spirit'

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Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams believes Robert Kubica's experience and consistency will help the British team move itself forward in 2019.

Williams confirmed on Thursday the 33-year-old's nomination as a full-time driver for 2019, sealing Kubica's sensational comeback after a seven-year absence from the grid.

The Pole, who assumed a reserve driver and development role with Williams this season, will race alongside 20-year-old Mercedes protégé George Russell.

"All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved, and it is a great credit to his strength of character and tenacity to return to Formula One. 

"During this season his commitment to the team and the work he has put in behind the scenes has been unwavering, and he has become an established and much respected member of the Williams team."

Williams founder Frank Williams is obviously no stranger to adversity, having dealt with his own massive physical challenge.

Kubica's extraordinary efforts to put himself back on track after his near-fatal rally crash in 2012 showcased his steely determination. And make him a perfect match for Williams.

"Robert has a true Williams personality and I have so enjoyed working with him over the past year. He has a level of determination that is remarkable to see, and he truly embodies the Williams fighting spirit," she added.

"He's a real fighter, he pushes really hard and I love that. He wants to see this team do well. We still have some work to do.

"This is not the work of a moment, this is going to be a process, it's going to be a journey in order to move back to where we want the team to be, which is winning races again.


Williams believes Kubica will represent an important asset for the Grove-based squad as it attempts to extract itself from the doldrums after a dismal 2018 season.

"Having the consistency of Robert stepping up into this new role will be an important step for us as we look to fight our way back towards the front of the field," said Williams.

"I am also excited to have a mixture of youth and experience to lead us into 2019 and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve on track.

"I would also like to thank Lance and Sergey for their hard work in what has been a challenging season. We wish them all the best for their future careers."

While Kubica is rumored to have brought a significant financial package to the team, thanks to the support of Polish oil company PKN Orlen, Claire Williams insists the team's decision was based on merit.

"We undertook quite an extensive evaluation process in order to make the driver decision for 2019. This driver is incredibly popular not just across Europe but across the world," said Williams.

"However, we don't make out driver decisions based on whether they're popular or not. For us it's all about the talent." 

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