I wouldn’t call two ‘plenty’. Furthermore, any job offers for Kubica need to be seen in the light of the significant funding from Orlen that will come along with it. It’s rare to get the chance to sign a sponsor who insists on a driver’s presence, but not in a race seat. As I said above, Kubica’s sim work does seem to be reasonably well respected. It’s just that this doesn’t seem to translate to on-track performance any more. Was he seen as the best before his crash? I had the impression Heidfeld had more to do with BMW’s development. Honestly, I don’t see WRC2 as great success. It was no doubt a morale boost to get a title in a low-level championship, but when Kubica moved up to WRC he didn’t achieve much.
Latifi better insight - partly because so much of current F1 is about the Pirellis, and Latifi has much more experience of them than Kubica did. Dave Robson stated that Kubica’s main problem was a failure to get to grips with the Pirellis, and frankly if you can’t manage that, you’re going nowhere. Sim performance is less dependant on this. Latifi has been test driver for a couple of different teams and can bring insights from working with them for a whole season. He has more relevant experience now than Kubica did at the end of 2018. F1 circa 2010 is an age ago. Schumacher and Zanardi both struggled after half the time away that Kubica had.
I don’t accept that Kubica’s performances were in areas where driver performance matters more. As far as good first laps are concerned, you might well say the same about Lance Stroll, who had excellent first laps during his time at Williams. Russell’s starts were not aggressive enough, and I think he knows this, as he was doing a lot of work on his launches near the end of the season. This has to be balanced against the fact that Williams was relying on its drivers not to damage the car too much, and several times we saw Russell backing out rather than being run off the track. It’s interesting that when Kubica tried his usual approach in fighting another car, against Giovinazzi in AD, of running out wide on the exit, Gio didn’t back down and there was a collision. (Similar to what happened on lap 1 at Melbourne with Gasly). The other fact is that for much of the season, Russell could be fairly confident that he would get ahead before too long. But this was definitely a weakness and I hope he fights harder for places at the start in 2020. As far as Monaco is concerned, Kubica did reasonably well until he unnecessarily ran wide and invited a lunge from Gio, though he wasn’t going any quicker than Russell, who was in any case on harder tyres. But sure, Kubica has clearly still got some racecraft, and maybe he’ll be able to use it in DTM if he has enough pace and car control.
Anyway, Kubica is no longer a Williams driver, so it’s not that relevant to talk about him here any more. I certainly hope both he and Williams can move on quickly from this episode.