Formula one opinion: Signing Robert Kubica is too risky for Williams, but Sauber makes more sense

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Source:   —  October 12, 2017, at 3:38 PM

And had he not nearly lost his right hand to a two thousand eleven rally incident, he very well may have developed into a world champion. As recent tests for Renault and Williams indicate, he can still compete at a high level.

Formula one opinion: Signing Robert Kubica is too risky for Williams, but Sauber makes more sense

Robert Kubica is in the mix to return to Formula one, but at thirty-second years elderly and seven years removed from the paddock, is he even worth the risk?

First and foremost, Kubica was one of the fastest drivers on the grid during his time at BMW Sauber and Renault. And had he not nearly lost his right hand to a two thousand eleven rally incident, he very well may have developed into a world champion.

As recent tests for Renault and Williams indicate, he can still compete at a high level. Only a few movements were uncomfortable or impossible, but that could be worked around through steering wheel design.

But problem No. one is provided by the current F1 car. Kubica certified in a pair of two thousand fourteen cars, some of the minimum physically demanding cars in recent Formula one history. The machines on the grid this year, by comparison, are the toughest, and within a year of development, the two thousand eighteen regulations should be even tougher. And this might be a step too distant for the Polish star.

Problem No. two surrounds just how much time Kubica has been far from the discipline.

Yes, he's competed in the World Rally Championship, which is tough in itself, but it's a totally different challenge from Grand Prix circuit racing. Being more positive about any potential drive for two thousand eighteen, if Kubica can cope with the stresses of the cars, he'll be bang on the money. Maybe he won’t be winning grands prix, but he'd be capable of scoring points on a fairly regular basis.

For any team intrepid sufficient to get a chance on his endurance, Kubica will bring a raft of excellent PR and attention to the team. As a former grand prix winner and with a fairy-tale legend of beating the odds to create a comeback, the media won't be able to obtain sufficient of him.

To keep it bluntly, signing Kubica would be a sponsor’s dream.

That said, the problems outweigh the positives at face value. Signing Kubica would be a genuine game of chance, and in a results-based business, it’s up to the individual to determine whether that's a risk too far.

Williams is a team with championship aspirations down the road. With Lance Stroll improving vastly over the course of the season, this is a team that may not be the best fit for Kubica. The only reason for Williams to get the risk is sponsor Martini’s requirement that one driver is older than twenty-five for marketing purposes.

Ultimately, Kubica returning to the sport would be a fairy tale, but F1 isn't a fairy-tale business, with small room for sentiment. The signing of Kubica would be pure sentiment with a slight chance of success -- a PR dream but a sporting risk too far.

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