Reports Claim Robert Kubica Exceeded Williams’ Expectations
International media is boiling with excitement, and multiple outlets are claiming Kubica’s test went well enough to end Williams’ driver search.
This past Tuesday, Kubica dropped into the cockpit of the Williams FW36 for his second major evaluation by Williams, with the result described only as "productive" by the team. The following day, Paul di Resta hopped in to set lap times of his own, to be compared with Kubica's, and his own session, described as "busy," received an equal treatment of acknowledgement, but minimal release of information. Sources beyond Williams, however, are reporting that leaks from within the team have disseminated information on both the tests and the driver selection, and that things are looking positive for both Williams and Kubica.
After di Resta's test on Wednesday, Brazilian outlet Racing Motorsports reported that Kubica was faster than Paul di Resta, and Switzerland's Blick followed Friday, claiming that Kubica had "surprised in Hungary," and had convinced team management with his pace. Przeglad Sportowy adds a claim that the decision as to who will occupy the second Williams seat in 2018 has been made, and that it won't be Felipe Massa.
Coincidentally, Massa spoke Friday about what he plans to do after retiring from Formula 1. In an interview with Sports Mole, he discussed the possibility of a consultancy role with current Formula 1 commercial rights holder Liberty Media.
"If I can help, and they are interested in my help, then of course we can talk," reports Sports Mole, "but at the moment I am completely focused on racing, because it's what I love most and what I've done all my life. But for the future, everything is possible."
Massa has also expressed an interest in racing in Formula E after his F1 career comes to an end, though, so his talks of a post-F1 career carry only so much weight; the plans appear to be independent of the Kubica evaluation process.
"The team is in no rush to confirm plans ahead of 2018 whilst it completes its internal evaluations," said a Williams spokesperson to The Drive, when asked about the allegations that the choice between Kubica and Massa had already been made.