Interview: Kubica on his chances, challenges and why he loves working with Brits
Before we begin, if you speak Polish, you can safely scroll aaaaaaall the way down and click on the link to the original TV interview with Robert. Unless, of course, you want to read through it in English. It tells us a lot about what Kubica and his team can expect next year. We are, sort of, aware of all the challenges that await him, but it’s nice to hear him describe all the tiny details in, well, detail. Despite the fact that Robert did collect some precious WRC experience this year, it will be of a limited value to him when he lines up for the start of the new season. You see, learning to rally at this level is not just about doing an event and then claiming to know all about it. You do an event while also learning about the car, and the type of surface, and the rally itself, with its pacenotes and whatnots. So, a year in WRC and WRC2 did bring in some needed knowledge, but Kubica’s work is far from over.
But why don’t we leave him to tell you all about it. This interview was concluded during the recent Sperlonga Rally event in Italy. The man with the microphone in hand is Eryk Mełgwa and the interview was done for the TVP Sport. Transcription and translation done, free of charge, by Michał Hryszko, known in some circles as MadYarpen.
So here is an interview with very relaxed and genuinely happy Robert during Rally di Sperlonga last weekend. It is a most precise translation I was able to do, so there are few clumsy parts from English grammar perspective – sorry for that.
Robert, most important thing – it is already revealed what you will be doing next year. Big challenge ahead.
Well, yes. But to be honest I’m very happy, because I think it is a perfect situation for me for next year, so everything is fine. I’m also glad because I’ll be working with English people again, and somehow I have nice memories of English mentality and their approach to the motorsport. It is very important because I think it is nicer to work this way and generally people who have so far worked with English teams or are English have somehow the same approach to the motorsport as me, the same approach to what needs to be done to improve as a driver and as a team.
The target is the same, a lot of learning, many more rallies – but some of them you already know.
Yes, the experience is bigger than last year, but compared to the other drivers it is minimal, very small. Especially the beginning of the year will be very challenging. The whole season will be difficult, but its beginning will be more challenging, because I will start right away in a new car, new team, with a new co-driver, in new rallies, in new conditions – because both Monte Carlo and Sweden will be entirely new for me, in entirely new conditions compared to what I have raced in. And well, I think and hope the first part of the season will be nice and calm, but honestly – though I don’t know how is Fiesta doing on tarmac – if everything goes as I think, it should be quite good on tar… in the second part of the season.
Especially that I think while first rallies during last season gave me a lot, I cannot use too much of it, because both rhythm and driving on gravel stages were not like they were in the end of the season. That’s why I think starting from Finland it should get easier for me – though it doesn’t mean it will be easy, just much easier than in the beginning of the season.
You had a chance to drive Fiesta WRC. How would you compare it to Citroen – are they similar, different?
Well… Truth be told I can’t compare them, because it would be hard to compare a car I drove year and a half ago, well almost year and a half, to a car I drove last month, in different conditions. In fact I have never driven a WRC car on a stage apart from Rally GB – and I mean a real stage during a rally, and a current car of course. So there will be much to learn and to discover, and the challenge will be pretty big :). Many rallies, much preparation. I will probably drive (oh, today we have a deadline for the decision and to enter) in Janner Rally – if we prepare the system on time and everything is fine I will surely be there to warm up :) *shakes his bones* before the season and that’s it. Maybe some additional small rally in the first part of the season as well, but this we will see.
These rallies here in Italy are also to prepare yourself.
Well, yes, but it is hard to call it a “rally”. Driving the same stage four times is something different than driving through the stages in WRC. But it always gives you something, especially in my situation, since I have to make important decisions regarding a co-driver. It isn’t the easiest one to be honest, so last one and a half month I have been thinking about it quite a lot. But the decision isn’t made yet. So we will see.