Kubica unsure about possibility of Formula 1 return


Kubica has talked about his future. | Photo: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Robert Kubica has expressed his doubts about a return to Formula 1, after speculation about a drive with Williams for 2018 and beyond becoming a distinct possibility.

Kubica, who drove for BMW and Renault in 76 races between 2006 and 2010, saw his career and life come under severe threat due to a colossal rallying accident after a promising winter testing period with Lotus Renault in 2011.

In June, the Pole tested a Formula 1 car for the first time in six years at Valencia, courtesy of Renault, before taking part in official tests at the Hungaroring in 2017 machinery in early August, an event that sparked rumours about a potential comeback with the Enstone team.

Photo: Octane Photography Ltd.

However, Renault have opted for Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz to partner Nico Hülkenberg for 2018.

Speaking to Polish website Przeglad Sportowy, Kubica saw the positives in the tests.

“I think the whole adventure with Renault should be judged positively,” the 32-year-old said.

“I have had the opportunity to drive in three tests, including the last official one in Hungary and for that I have to be grateful.”

“First and foremost, after six years I had the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of Formula One car.”

“These were very productive months in terms of answering my questions or doubts about my limitations. I was wondering if I could drive an F1 car and still be able to do it right. All of these answers were positive.”

Even though the door with Renault has been closed, Kubica has continued to search for other avenues, but insists he doesn’t take notice of the various rumours that have been swirling around in the recent past, and says that there’s been more going on that has been reported.

We’re simply working and trying to find the best solution for me for the next year. We’re trying to do it clinically and with calmness. We’ll see what the work brings us.”

“People who make these decisions probably don’t read people’s and websites’ fabrications and speculations. Some of these ‘inventions’ meet my ear but it’s just a part of this game.”

“It’s normal when there isn’t much information but there’s so much speculation that when writing articles everyone’s trying to make some analysis that shouldn’t be a thing,” before adding. “That’s pointless. Everyone has their job to do, though. Media do their job, I do mine.”

The most likely suitor is Williams, with Felipe Massa expected to leave Formula 1 on a more permanent basis this time around, but there are reports that Williams backer Lawrence Stroll isn’t keen on Kubica partnering his son, Lance – instead favouring Massa or current reserve driver, Paul di Resta. Pascal Wehrlein was on the radar due to his Mercedes connections, yet would leave the team without a driver aged 25 or over, not allowed because of main sponsorship coming from alcohol giants Martini.

Rumours arose about a test with the Grove outfit in 2014-spec machinery after the Singapore Grand Prix at Suzuka, a day after Stroll Jnr. But this was halted by a lack of funding and an unwillingness from Stroll Snr, contra to clear interest from the Williams team.

Lawrence Stroll is keen on Paul di Resta to step up to a full-time drive. | Photo: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Kubica is adamant that his main sponsor Olimp did not pay for his Renault excursions.

“There were rumours that Olimp had paid for these tests, and that was not true,” the one-time Grand Prix winner stated.

“My future does not depend on what my sponsors or partners will do in the coming months. Teams are not interested in me, because of the sponsors, I cannot afford to pay for a test day.” 

“Lotos used to be my big partner and thanks to our cooperation I was able to develop as a rally driver, but as far as Formula 1 and track racing is concerned it’s only journalists’ inventions.”

It has been reported that Williams are still eager to hold a test in Europe with Kubica, with the Pole looking for funding in order to make it a reality.

  • Marek

    Polish fuel giants Olimp…. OK Mr James Eagles…. Thanks for your professional article.

  • therealjeagles

    Amended.

  • Krzysiek Wlodarczyk

    sorry guys but Olimp is a health suplement producer who is sponsoring Robert. In an interview for “Przegląd Sportowy” Robert said there will be no funding of any tests on his part. He also said his test in Hungary went very good well and his pace was very good. He also said that what media says is part of the game and he is ot concerned about it because everybody is entitled to his own opinion.

  • therealjeagles

    I made a mistake with the sponsor, I’ve fixed it – thanks to those who pointed it out though. His pace was good at Hungary, but slightly inconsistent – understandably so.

  • Bill Cape Coral

    So Williams is only interested in Kubica if can bring money. Williams is shell of its former self.

  • peter

    Mr Stroll has less leverage than anyone might think. His 30-40 mil are the same Maldonado’ s backers paid to Williams. No way Stroll is going to decide the second driver, he can be happy with a seat for his son in a half- decent team.
    In worst case scenario Maldonado is still around, maybe with less money,.
    If Stroll is going to kick too high, he might miss the goal.
    Williams should aim for results and the backers will queue up afterwards.
    Kubica- great engineering qualities, great racer, great commitment.
    Wehrlein- Mercedes connection, attitude problem, difficult to judge his abilities in Sauber.
    Di Resta- decent driver, no silverware. Even Sutil beat him numerous times and Sutil wasn’t exactly a winner. Di Resta was advertising himself to better teams. His wish has been fulfilled, Force India dropped him. Bad character.
    Massa- great character, solid driver. Never the same after he lost the WDC in the last seconds in Brasil, his years at Ferrari damaged his self- confidence considerably, so his accident in Hungary. No killer instinct anymore, accident and incident- prone.
    Ericsson- hard to judge, Wehrlein is beating him.
    Now if had a say at Williams, my choice would be easy. Williams needs a driver with heart, engineering skills and hunger for wins..

  • Bill Cape Coral

    Kubica knows that no F1 team is going to hire him, he has let this go on for publicity hoping it will get him something in a lower series. Kubica spent more time on his roof then on his wheels in his last rallying attempt.

  • peter

    So did Raikkonen and Colin McRae too.

  • Krzysiek Wlodarczyk

    You’re welcome :)
    The inconsistent pace is only partially true. There were stints where he was inconsistent for whatever reason, but look at stints 11, 12 and 13. They are very consistent and Robert was actually faster than the factory drivers! And this was in the second part of day when he should be slower after supposedly driving with one hand only ;)

    To support my words with facts here you have every lap time from Kubica.
    There are also times from Nico and Jolyon for comparison.
    The site is in Polish but the language of numbers should be universal ;)
    tinyurl.com/y79lz95a