As announced ahead of the race weekend, Williams tested a new “experimental” front wing during Friday’s free practice sessions. The wing in question is being developed for the 2020 season, but the team said they could use it even before if it turns out to be a good development.
Kubica says the he felt positive changes while running the new wing and expected to use it during qualifying.
“Friday was very good, first time for a very long time,” said the Pole.
“We changed the front wing. It wasn’t supposed to be better and on the second car it did not give any advantage or was even worse. But my car felt a lot better.
“However, for strange reasons, the wing was taken from my car this morning before qualifying.
“I think there was just too much time to think about it on Saturday…
“The typhoon passed, but I think the decision was not related to the track here, but more so to other reasons or choices.
“This morning, however, gave me a lot to think about. I knew some things, but this morning some boundaries were probably crossed.”
When asked about Kubica’s comments, Williams explained the wing was brought to the event as a test item and wasn’t intended to be used across the whole weekend.
“As always, we discuss the most effective strategy ahead of each race weekend but make adjustments where necessary,” the team said in a statement for Motorsport.com.
“Our new front wing was always intended as a test item for this event, with a view to running in a race at a future date.
“With the potential impact of Typhoon Hagibis forcing the cancellation of all running on Saturday, combined with the inclement wind conditions today, the team made the decision not to risk running the new front wing today and potentially suffering damage before we had conducted further testing in Mexico.
“Given the incidents in qualifying, this proved to be the correct decision.”
Kubica’s claim that the decision to take off the new wing was done last minute is a bit unclear since the Pole told journalists on Friday that he would be racing using an old front wing used during pre-season testing. Hopefully we will get more answers as this story develops.