Formula 1 Grand Prix winner, Robert Kubica, has stated that he wishes to test an F1 car again. Poland’s only ever F1 driver, now 32, competed in the highest level of motorsport between 2006 and 2010 until a horrible accident in a rally caused him to extensively damage his wrist and leave the sport in early 2011. He would later break his leg while slipping on ice at his home but returned to motorsport in a rally in September 2012. Since then he has largely competed in more rally competitions but has been confirmed to be competing in the LMP1 category of the World Endurance Championship (WEC). He reportedly drove over a second a lap faster than his teammates in testing which is extremely impressive considering his lack of experience in these cars.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s what the man had to say in an interview for Autosport:
“I would like to try a Formula 1 car. It has been a while, so I would have to prove myself, but I think I could do it well. I would like to relive the thrill of the Formula 1 experience.”
“I have tried many simulators, and I am convinced that I would drive at 80% of the F1 tracks – but not all of them. I also have to point out that testing a Formula 1 car is one thing, a race weekend is something totally different. In my last three seasons of F1, I managed to achieve a remarkable performance level, a level I think I lack a little bit of now.”
“In 2010, with Renault, I think I did nothing wrong and to get to that level of performance you have to work hard for so many years. In rallying I missed this aspect – the time that you need to prepare to be your best – as everything was done too quickly.”
Will he return?
My heart says hopefully, but my head says probably not. From the quote above a test appears to be a possibility but a full-time race seat is extremely unlikely. Fans have been yearning for the Pole to return to F1 ever since his injury kept him out of the sport in 2011 but as of yet no team has been formally linked with Kubica. At 32 he’s hardly a motorsport OAP but he’s no spring chicken either and without significant financial backing I doubt he’d be able to force his way onto the 20-car-grid. Then there’s the issue of his fitness which many, including himself, have doubted in the six years that he’s been away from the sport.
However, his raw talent is undeniable. After Renault’s lacklustre 2010 campaign, Kubica was hotly tipped to replace Felipa Massa at Ferrari and partner Fernando Alonso in 2011. The rally accident put pay to that but former Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali admitted in 2013 that the Scuderia were “eyeing” Kubica as a potential driver for the team for 2011.
Personally, I believe that he could’ve been a world champion in F1, it’s a bit of a longshot for someone that only won one race, but stay with me. Kubica outperformed both the Sauber and the Renault that he found himself in on a number of occasions which, if you look at the history of the sport, you will notice all of the great champions have done. For example, his performance in 2010 in Monaco, the ultimate drivers circuit, was stellar, that Renault had no right to be on the podium that weekend.
For now, as is usual, this is largely speculation but if Kubica was to return to F1 it would surely be one of the greatest comebacks motorsport has ever seen.