2019 Spanish GP: Kubica vs Russell

One of the biggest new of the current F1 season is the performance of Robert Kubica. A lot has been said about his car having differences compared to George Russell’s car, but this week, Claire Williams herself said that both car should have the same performance. Is that true? I do not know, but assuming that it is, let’s analyze the numbers from the Spanish GP.

Overall race

As we saw in the previous post, the average race pace of George Russell was of 1:25.702 per lap, while Kubica trailed his teammate by 391 hundredths of a second with an average lap time of 1:26.093.

Kubica stopped for new tires at lap 31, so I compared the average lap time between lap 2 and lap 30 for both drivers. In this case, Kubica was slower on average than George by 0.347 seconds.

From lap 34 until lap 43, that is after both went on to put new tires and before they went into the pits again, Kubica was once again slower than Russell, this time by an average of 0.349 seconds, which is very consistent with the previous stint.

During the final stint, and after removing the laps when the safety car was out, Kubica was once again slower than Russell, now by an increased 0.486 seconds.

The solid line in the graph represents the trend of lap times, and as you can see, Kubica’s trend represent what was just said, which is that Kubica tended to do slower laps than Russell for most of the race.

Delta per lap

This graph now compares every individual lap between drivers, as long as both of them were on the track at the same time and after removing the laps that are not relevant due to the safety car.

In total, Kubica was faster than Russell on 17 laps, beating him in those laps by a total of 14.071 seconds. His best delta against Russell was in lap 23, when he was faster by 3.003 seconds than the Britishman.

Regarding Russell, he was faster than Robert on 35 laps, beating him in those laps by a total of 33.953 seconds. His best delta against Robert was in lap 27, when he beat the Pole by 2.704 seconds.

During the last stint, that is from lap 53 until lap 65, Robert was able only to be faster than Russell on 1 lap (57) by a difference of only 0.006 seconds. Russell, on the other hand, was faster than Robert on 12 laps by an average of 0.526 seconds per lap.

Average pace distribution

The 50% percentile, represented here with the middle vertical line, shows the time that is right in the middle of the distribution, this means that 50% of the laps were faster than this time and 50% of the laps were slower than this time as well. Here, Russell’s 50% percentile time is of 1:26.071, while Kubica’s number is 1:26.312. The delta of 0.241 seconds does not seem as representative of what we saw in the race, so where is the actual difference between both drivers?

Well, in this case the difference between both drivers was mostly in the 25% and 75% percentile. Russell did his 25% fastest laps with a time of 1:24.444 or less, while Kubica did his 25% fastest laps with a time of 1:24.868 or less. The total difference in percentiles here is of 0.424 seconds.

Regarding slow laps, we get more or less the same picture. Russell’s 25% slowest laps were done with a time of 1:26.601, while Kubica’s laps were done with a time of 1:27.130, a difference of 0.529 seconds. As you can see by the curve from time 1:27.00 until 1:30.500, Russell just has less slow laps than Kubica’s over the course of the race.


I do not know if both cars have equal performance or not, but if they do, then Kubica needs to improve his race pace immediately if he wants to keep his seat in F1. I have said it before, but I will say it again, I really like Robert. He has a very genuine personality and tells things the way they are. But his performances have not been good enough for a driver of his caliber.

If the average mean time between both drivers of 0.391 seconds over the race already seems bad enough, then the last stint (laps 53 until 65) when Robert was slower by an average of 0.486 seconds, looks atrocious.

Regarding blue flags, I do not consider them in this analysis because they are the same for both drivers. Most of them should be in the second stint, where as you can see, Robert and Kubica alternated positive and negative deltas. At the end, they more or less even out.

Only time will tell what is going to happen with the Pole, but if the numbers from Spain are representative, then it is hard to see Kubica in the grid for much longer.

I hope that you have enjoyed this article, let me know what you think in the comments below.


  1. paulgtr

    this is the race where Russell took over kubica’s car which he has driven for all races up through hungary and kubica started using the car russell drove in baku after his car was damaged.

    • admin

      I will make an analysis on Kubica’s performance before and after they switched chassis soon, so stay tuned for it.


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