Robert Kubica has confirmed that he was signed to race for Scuderia Ferrari for the 2012 season.
The Polish driver, now with Williams Martini Racing as their reserve driver, is making his first appearance back in an F1 paddock as a driver since his terrifying rallying accident during pre-season for the 2011 season.
Kubica at the time was racing for Lotus Renault before he injured his hand, which halted his return to single-seater racing until 2017.
But speaking on Formula 1’s official podcast, ‘Beyond The Grid’, Kubica reveals that the Rally Andorra was suppose to be his last rallying event back in 2011 as he signed for a different team for the 2012 season.
“The biggest thing was that that rally was actually going to be my last one, as the team I was going to drive for in 2012 wouldn’t have let me rally.” said Kubica.
“Renault allowed me to go do this rally as they felt guilty over me having a lot of car failures. I didn’t actually want to go do that rally, flying to Milan, driving here, driving there, all that effort, but I did do it.”
The podcast host Tom Clarkson asked whether the team in questioned was red, as Kubica was heavily linked with Ferrari throughout of 2010. Kubica replied with: “Yes, it was a red team. This isn’t new, this news had been already published then.”
“I don’t know if Fernando knew. I would have been paid less than at Renault.”
Since his accident, Kubica returned to Rallying to continue his racing career, as the limited space in a cockpit of an single-seater car couldn’t work with his injured hand.
Having raced in the World Rallying Championship before eventually making a return to F1, Kubica talks about why he felt the need to do Rallying.
“When i was a child, I wasn’t thinking solely about F1 – I just wanted to be the best I can. I was, and still am, a big fan of rallying. I was searching for something outside of F1 that would make me a better driver; finding skills that the other drivers I’d be racing wouldn’t have.
“I still think that, with the small bit of rallying I did in 2010, I scored more points in F1 than I would have if I hadn’t been rallying – sensitivity, staying going on slicks in wet conditions, small things like that. I paid a big price, and I’m still paying for it.
“Rallying was not just for fun. The desire to become a better driver and find something the others don’t have, I wasn’t happy to just be at the level I was – I needed more. It gave me that, but I paid too high a price.”
Kubica admits now that it hurts knowing that he should of been a Ferrari driver if it wasn’t for his rallying accident and lengthly recovery.
“I haven’t become a Ferrari driver, but I came so close. My recovery was so hard that for the first 18 months, this didn’t hurt because I was concentrating on my injuries and recovery. The more time passes, the more difficult this became.
“There were hard moments where recovery and surgeries took 100% of me, but I missed Formula 1. Recovery was painful but it was not made more painful by knowing I should have been in the Ferrari. It’s more painful now.”