There, now we know – Robert Kubica is, in fact, not having fun retiring on every event, and sometimes even several times in the same event. It also seems he is well aware of the fact that finishing rallies like this is not the way to go about one’s rally career. He won’t mention it, but it’s a fact – he is doing it all wrong because he is aware of his own speed and he is an established race driver, but rally is a different beast and taming one’s instincts is more important than relying too much on them. In rallying, instincts are overshadowed by pace notes. Difficult and complex mix this one, even though people often ignore it. No matter how harsh some of them may sound, I still firmly believe Robert is the harshest critic of his own actions – his main problem is, he does not whine about it and go into lengthy analysis of his own problems and doubts in public. Perhaps his management could look into it – there are some very simple people out there, and they need to see drivers distraught and upset to understand that perhaps, maybe, this business of competing at the WRC level isn’t as easy as they imagine.
“It had been a short and tough day. From the very beginning we were driving at a very steady pace, but still it did not stop me from making another mistake”, Robert said about his repeated retirement in Portugal.
“Going into a turn over a crest I was convinced it was much faster. I thought it was five but in the pacenotes it was three. We were going too fast even though a few kilometres before I had slowed down because we had some understeer into the right-hand corners. Still though, we were going too fast for that part of the stage.
“We almost made it back to the stage. Half of the car was on the road, but since I could not downshift, the revs went down too much and we lost the momentum. I went back down the embankment and tried to find another way back to the stage, but because of my attempts the clutch gave up and it was over.
“Right now I am going through a difficult period of my life, even though I’ve had worse times. I think I must somehow reset myself and try to approach rallies the way I did at the very beginning, twelve months ago. I really hope we will have a much better rally in Argentina.”
I wonder if the “difficult period” refers to more than just rallies and retirements?