Ah, Robert Kubica, always the popular topic in WRC circles. Ever since some people accused him of not being the proper WRC2 champion last year to his many misfortunes and mistakes which led him to numerous retirements this year, Kubica is not an easy subject to discuss. Even though this and many other forms of motor sports are crawling with drivers who obviously are not the top material, it’s often Kubica that suffers the bashing. It’s easy to understand; unlike those other drivers, he is not Just Somebody because of his history in Formula 1 and the remarkable recovery from the nasty injury. He’s famous, yo. As such he is either expected to perform – because hey, everyone speaks about his potential so when do we see it put to good use, rite? – or he will be bashed to a pulp for not performing. I must admit it’s quite difficult to “defend” the guy after all the big and small mistakes – some of which could be just bad luck, but I will eagerly defend the belief which says that Kubica is well bloody aware of what’s going on. Maybe there are drivers out there who just crash and crash some more and take absolutely nothing from it, but I don’t think Robert is one of those characters. Maybe Kimi is?
After all, he said it numerous times already. You learn very little by being slow, because if you drive slowly in a WRC car, you will not learn a great deal about its behaviour and character. Instead of going through lower classes and smaller cars, Kubica immediately jumped into RRC and then WRC car. Maybe it’s a bad analogy, but to me it’s like a fast karting driver being promoted to Formula 1 with only few races done in one of the smaller Formula series in between.
Maybe you cannot learn much by being slow in WRC, but maybe slow-er is the solution? Maybe once in a while it would be nice ‘n all to see the finish and wrap the event up properly. According to Kubica’s latest statements, that’s exactly what he plans to do. Approach the speed barrier from the opposite side of the spectrum, go slower in order to be able to learn more not about the car but about the ways to anticipate problems and deal with sudden surprises and unexpected mistakes. I am really looking forward to this new approach, Argentina really is one of the places which could really use some caution from newbie competitors.
“Argentina will be another new and difficult event for me, but I am hoping that it will be better than the previous rallies. Our goal stays the same, and we want to get to finish.
“I will try to change my approach – going back to the way I tackled events when I first began my WRC career. Driving on gravel I must focus more on survival and getting to finish as opposed to driving as fast as I can. There are too many variables and surprises that can often catch out inexperienced drivers. That is why I think a few steps back will do me no harm.
“The things that are happening now are not a nice experience, but at the same time, they are not unusual. I think my winning the WRC2 category last year with so little experience was much more unusual! Most drivers who are experiencing these stages for the first time compete in much less powerful cars. I am driving one of the best cars in the championship alongside the best rally drivers in the world amidst conditions I have never previously experienced. This is the highest level, I need to remember that.
“When I made the decision to go rallying, I knew what I was getting into and I cannot allow the past few months to write-off my goals and ambitions. It is true that it has not been the luckiest start to the season for me, but I believe it will get better. The most important thing is to make the most of this experience and learn from it. I am sure that better times will come.”