Earlier, multiple authoritative sources said the Pole’s comeback has now been definitively agreed, with Kubica perhaps having signed a two-year deal.
But a Williams spokesperson told us: “Although conversations are ongoing with Kubica, it is still yet to be finally decided who will replace Felipe Massa.
“We will make an announcement when we have something to announce but nothing is planned this weekend in Abu Dhabi.”
“The delay is believed to be about the structure of his payments, and this is almost certainly linked to the fact that an insurance pay-out for the ending of his career will now have to be paid back. It’s an unusual but understandable complication – and similar policies played a part in the decisions of both Stirling Moss and Didier Pironi in not returning to F1 after injury.”
“Assuming the deal is eventually done, Kubica’s comeback will represent by far the longest anyone has attempted a serious F1 career comeback”
His (first) F1 career ran from mid-2006 to the end of 2010. Back in 2012, Toto Wolff said, “When I look at what Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean did in the Lotus this year, I am convinced had Robert not had his accident, he’d have been world champion in that car.”
Polish signs a two-year deal at Williams’
Kubica’s return to F1 next year is now set in stone. That is the claim of the broadcaster RTL GP, echoing other sources including France’s Canal Plus that claim the Pole has now inked a Williams contract for 2018.
RTL GP says the 32-year-old’s contract is for 2018 and 2019. Former F1 driver Robert Doornbos, who is a pundit for F1 broadcaster Ziggo Sport Totaal, told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad: “I am happy to see Kubica back in F1.”