Kubica’s sponsor demands Williams explain Russian GP retirement

Robert Kubica’s sponsor has asked Williams to provide an explanation for the Polish driver’s retirement from the Russian Grand Prix.

Kubica, who will leave the team at the conclusion of the 2019 season, was brought into the pits to retire the car one lap after teammate George Russell crashed during a Virtual Safety Car period. Williams put that incident down to an unspecified car issue and said the decision to retire Kubica’s car was precautionary.

After the race chief race engineer Dave Robson said: “We opted to retire Robert soon afterwards in order to conserve parts ahead of the intense flyaway races which end the season. It’s a very disappointing way to end two weeks on the road.”

Kubica’s backers, Polish company PKN Orlen, whose name appears on the nose and on the engine cover of the Williams car, have questioned the reasoning behind it and suggested it is considering which steps to take in future.

“Following the retirement of Robert Kubica from Sunday’s Russian GP, we have officially asked the ROKiT Williams Racing team for an explanation.

“Based on that we will take steps to enforce contractual obligations.”

Williams has declined to comment on the matter.

Kubica scored Williams’ only point of the campaign so far, finishing 10th at the German Grand Prix. He was promoted to the top ten when both Alfa Romeo drivers were handed 30-second penalties after the race — that penalty has been formally upheld, meaning that points finish is now confirmed.

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