Former F1 river and Channel 4 pundit Karun Chandok believes Robert Kubica was given ample opportunity to prove he deserved to race once again in F1.
The Polish driver’s sensational F1 comeback has been put on hold following Williams’ recruitment for 2018 of 22-year-old Sergey Sirotkin.
While many believe the rookie’s lavish $20 million support package – courtesy of loyal backers SMP Bank – ultimately sealed the Russian driver’s deal, Chandok says Kubica was offered a fair shot at the coveted drive and to earn it on his merit.
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“It’s a shame for him, but I think they gave him plenty of opportunities to really prove that he deserves a seat in a meritocratic way,” said Chandhok during a live podcast at the Autosport International show.
“I can’t think of many other drivers who have had this many opportunities with two teams to test and prove themselves capable of having a race seat.
“I don’t think you can say he hasn’t had a fair chance to be evaluated.
“I know Robert quite well. We’ve been friends since we raced together in World Series in 2005 and he’s a great lad and at his peak before his accident he was utterly brilliant,” added the Indian driver.
“But the reality is teams can’t hire drivers based on the past, they have to hire drivers based on their circumstances and their performance today.
“It’s a shame for the sport and for Robert obviously that it’s not worked out.”
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