Robert Kubica, Renault, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Alonso unsure whether Kubica will make F1 return

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Robert Kubica, Renault, Abu Dhabi, 2010In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says it’s “very hard to say” whether Robert Kubica will be able to make an F1 comeback.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Alonso: Very hard to say if Kubica can return (GP Update)

“It’s very hard to say whether Robert will return to 100% fitness and be able to race again in Formula 1. Now and again we speak and I know how much it hurts him to be so far away from what has always been his world.”

Newey: Engines to dominate from 2014 (Autosport)

“It is possible that one manufacturer will do significantly better than the others, at which point you might end up with that manufacturer’s cars at the front of the grid. You could end up with an engine manufacturers’ championship.”

A tour of Caterham F1 Team’s new Leafield home (Caterham via YouTube)

Race Report: The Jenson Button Trust Triathlon (Triathlete)

“F1 world champion and current Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver, Jenson Button, treated spectators at Luton Hoo Estate to a display of strength, speed, and endurance, but on this occasion there were no cars were to be seen, as Button and his competitors swam, cycled and ran at the inaugural Jenson Button Trust Triathlon.”

Comment of the day

@Lateralus think more can be done to make the pit lane a safer place, though a proposal from the teams to lower the speed limit was rejected earlier this year:

I think the pit lane is an often-overlooked area for safety improvement.

I?ve seen several instances in the past several years where some pedestrian in the pit lane was nearly hit by a car coming down the pit lane.

Of course there?s the famous video of Patrick Head not bothering to look before crossing and nearly gets creamed. But random team members on the pit wall seem to frequently walk up and down the fast lane during a Grand Prix, which strikes me as absurd. Many times they?re walking with traffic, so they can?t even see anything coming.

Of course F1 drivers have very good skills and might be able to avoid them, but what happens when two cars touch in the fast lane? Anyone in their path will be mown down. Pit lane speed limits are low, but someone could easily be killed by an out-of-control F1 car going 60mph.

Personally I think there should be a new rule: once the race begins, no one is allowed to go to and from the pit wall (barring some kind of emergency). Once you?re in the pit wall area, you stay there until the race finishes. No walking/jogging back and forth between garage and pit wall.

From the forum

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Happy birthday to Carolynn clarke, Socalf1fan, Adamtys and ScuderiaVincero!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The first Turkish Grand Prix was held on this day in 2005 and won by Kimi Raikkonen.

Team mate Juan Pablo Montoya was on course for second place until being hit by the lapped Tiago Monteiro. Montoya later ran wide with damage, letting Raikkonen’s title rival Fernando Alonso through into second.

Image ?? Renault/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 57 comments on “Alonso unsure whether Kubica will make F1 return”

    1. If I have said it once, I’ve said it thousand times, Kubica won’t be back in Formula 1. The injury was too severe, and by the time he is back to full fitness Formula 1 would have moved on. Sad but true

      1. i agree with your opinion. i’m not familiar with the details of his injuries, but f1 moved on moments after his crash.

      2. I don’t agree with you, I think he’ll never bee the same but he has good chances of joining perhaps HRT with of course really good Polish backing.

        1. Sorry yo say this and disagree with you but dont think we will ever see him back in F1 racing…his mobility must be less than 100% and thats no good for F1.

        2. He has said that if he doesn’t feel 100% then he won’t even bother. Why would he waste his time at HRT or a back of the grid team if he is prepared to not race at all if he isn’t completely fit.

      3. by the time he is back to full fitness Formula 1 would have moved on

        I don’t know about that. If he recovers full fitness then I think some teams would be willing to give him a try. If he’s fully fit again, he can drive fast cars and show whether or not he still has the speed. I concede that a team like Ferrari might be hesitant about taking him on (even now they haven’t signed Perez yet – idiots), but for a team like Caterham, or even one of the midfielders, it would be a major boost to have on of the top drivers in their line-up. Just imagine what a fit Robert Kubica could have achieved in this year’s Williams…

        The problem, of course, is whether he will ever be fully fit again. The fact that little is known (at least not to me) about the state of his recovery 18 months after the accident is not a good sign.

        1. it has been said the Frank Williams is a fan of his and will give him a shot in the Williams simulators or test car when he is ready to return.

      4. I agree and I find the constant focus on when he will race again in F1 to be a bit callous. I know people want him back doing what they know he coud do well, but given the incredible severity of injury to his arms and hands, the most important thing is that the gets back sufficient function to have a good, normal quality of life—can he drive a road car without pain, can he carry a suitcase in the airport, use scissors, can he pick up a small child. And then one can consider whether he is ready for the rigors of driving a racing car. And to return to racing he would need really to be 99% of where he was. Given the availale talent today and the closeness at the top in skill, if he were to have lost a tenth or two, he would just really be an average driver. As a team manager, are fighting against teams with Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, etc., you don’t need a guy who is only almost as good as Robert Kubica used to be.

      5. Not sure about injuries to sever but they certainly where not good. But Consider the limited news about him for a long time and that it’s been so long. 2 years out of the car and any type of racing and at this point will be another year at least besides possible some FP1’s next year. If he isn’t back in the car next year (if only as a test driver) I seriously doubt he will be back at all no matter how much I want him to be back. I really liked him in his BMW days but I just don’t see it. I hope I’m wrong but have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not.

    2. Very hard to say what’s going on with Kubica. Before 2011’s first race it was said he’d fully recover by the end of the season, and there was even talk he’d do a practice session at Interlagos. 2012’s slowly coming to an end and we still don’t know what’s happening to him.

      If it takes him a few more years to fully recover I believe he could still race in Formula 1, but the championship we all knew he was capable of winning seems to be downright impossible however things play out now, unfortunately.

      1. Remember he broke his leg again early this year (I think). So I guess the whole comback process stalled and had to be started again.

        I really doubt anyone would put him in a F1 car for a full season. Maybe some tests, but not a full season.

        1. It was only about a month or maybe two back that they did a new operation on his elbow to get it back to full movement, from all comments (following some Polish sources) its the part that is limiting his fitness most.

    3. Oh how I hope Newey is right, while I admire his aerodynamic skill it is so totally irrelevant to roadcars and of no use in any other area than track racing that getting back to the original main factor in motorsport, the engine, will make F1 so much more interesting even if an HRT-Pure wins the championship.

      1. will make F1 so much more interesting

        If one team dominating interests you then yes, yes it will.

        1. Well @mike, it seems more likely that most engines will be in a few teams cars. If Renault are the best in 2014, the are quite willing to supply more than four teams, so it would be the top 8 battle, and a group behind. But I doubt Ferrari would be that far behind and aero still counts.

          Though if Ferrari is the very best engine, that’s a problem, unless Sauber really steps up, as we can’t expect STR to do it; hoping for Ferrari to again be not-on-top with aero would be in-line with recent history a bit I suppose, but you’d think they have learned the lessen by 2014.

          Mercedes best? Well, if McLaren can still get that engine too, we’d have them and Mercedes (finally with a really competitive package for the whole year?), then FI perhaps.

          PURE? I would love to see it be the class act really, especially as they have likely less money to invest, and I’d expect them thus to struggle more with unreliability and perhaps driveability.

          I think @hohum is right, the engine being a bit more of a differentiator isn’t a bad thing to undermine the reign of aero.

          If we can cheer a driver doing brilliant qualifying in his quali-monster car, then start with an extra puff of EBD to get outside of the 1s DRS limit and cruise to a fast finish like VET did to win supremely in 2011, why not an engine doing that for a team, with the two drivers both there to compete for wins?

          And the next season at least a third of the field will want to have that engine (of the big teams non-Ferrari teams, who you think wouldn’t put in a performance clause into their 2014 engine contract?). Other brands will work to upgrade their offering, possibly showing up more unreliability, and a new picture emerges. A picture that looks pretty good to me.

          But really I doubt that the engine will be so big a deal as Newey says he fears here. As they don’t have their own engine but rule on aero, RBR have a lot to loose, so he wouldn’t like my picture, and might be very happy to keep the current engines which he knows how to pack.

          1. to clarify/amend: “the big teams that are not Ferrari or Mercedes, …”

            1. I think you nailed it first time. Will Mercedes want to have a factory team with a brand new Mercedes engine, ran by themselves and still not winning?

          2. As far as I know, PURE is out of it and will not now produce an engine for F1.

            Craig ran out of cash (again)

            1. Would be interested in relevant sources, not that I doubt you, just that if so, Keith might would want to make a note of it, being big news and all.

      2. I think what HoHum meant was that perhaps we could see teams compensating flaws, like having cars that go much faster on the straights and others that drive much faster out of corners or perhaps cars that can only win at high downs tracks, something like what happened on the 80’s

      3. I don’t see how. F1 isn’t about road relevance, and never really has been- if anything, the reason it is so popular is because it is so far removed from road cars.

        1. @matt90, Are you too young to remember the genesis of anti-lock braking, traction control, computer controlled fuel injection and suspension ? not to mention that by designing and racing engines capable of running at 20+ thousand rpm engineers learned how to build reliable engines for road cars that regularly rev to 7-8 thou. rpm.
          @bosyber and @ukfanatic, thank you both for so succinctly clarifying the situation. I would like to re-emphasize the point that it is highly unlikely that any good engine will be exclusive to one team, apart from the economic advantages and development advantages, one only has to look at how quickly Mercedes point out that it is a Mercedes engine that powers Hamilton and Button to victory to know that there are also PR advantages to supplying top teams and having your name part of the team name.

          1. @hohum, No, I just recognise that those things were by coincidence rather than intention. And better aerodynamic understanding does happen to filter down to road cars anyway. F1 is NOT about road relevance- the only reason people think maybe it should be is to entice manufacturers, which rarely ends well anyway. GT and sportscar racing are about road relevance. A formula with open wheels, open cockpits, weighing half a tonne etc. is NOT meant to be road relevant. If it is on occasion by accident, that is fine. Great even. But F1 should not be built around it. If road relevance was a manufacturers real interest, they likely wouldn’t be in F1.

    4. “COTD”, my opinion, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” !

      If you reallyreallyreally have to make it foolproof you could have a gangplanck from the wall to each team box 1 meter above the track. But would you ?

      1. When F1 makes the switch to electric power only in the pitlane, there should simply be some sort of alarm that sounds when one or more cars are in the pitlane. Should this alarm be going off, no one except for nominated pitcrew members should be allowed to enter the pitlane itself and anyone already there should need to vacate it as quickly as possible.

        The COTD seems way too onerous.

        1. Interestingly enough, cars in the pitlane only go in one direction. What is that supposed to say? Anyone who is not stupid and takes a good look if a car is coming will be able to make it without injury. If an adult isn’t intelligent enough to cross a one way street without getting himself in trouble it is solely his fault and nothing in the wold could prevent that. I suspect all those who are working in F1 are intelligent enough to master this task and surely Patrick Head never wandered around deep in his thoughts again like that.
          And if there is an accident it doesn’t really make a big difference if you sit there or walk aroud, if it hits you it hits you.
          Don’t see a need to change anything in that area.

    5. 3 people have died at a rally accident in Serbia

      espn say 1 dead though.

      1. My sympathies to the casualties and their families.

        That said I am surprised at how infrequently this sort of thing happens given how spectators crowd the edge of the track at exactly the spot where a car that fails to make a corner is most likely to go off, it reminds me of those old movies of the MillaMiglia before it was cancelled . Please if you love motor racing stand back and don’t stand on the outside of a bend, you may not care if you lose your life, but if you do the rest of us will probably lose our sport.

      2. Probably the worst thing is that the accident may bridge an even bigger rift between Bosnia and Serbia.

        1. I am from Serbia and NO this has nothing to do with relations with people from both countries.It was terrible accident and driver is actually Bosnian Serb.It wouldn’t make any difference if Bosnian Croat or Muslim was driving because most people are beyond war events and would realize that is was terrible mistake of the people that AGAIN came close to road after marshals make them go away at start.Crowd mad a mistake of going to close to road like it happens on many events like this.Unfortunate thing is that driver lost control and hit them.Last reports that i read in this morning papers is that he is heavily sedated and in shock and his trainer said he thinks that he will never seat behind the wheel again.

    6. Thanks for remembering Keith! :)

      1. On a more important note, I have forgotten what is to become of Caterham’s Leafield site. Is it going to be the base for their GP2 team?

        1. Isn’t it going to be the HQ of their composites branch?

          1. Ah, now that I’ve read into it, yes you’re right! Pity about the lack of racing cars there, but now that they’ve moved to Leafield, should give them a bigger well to draw from.

            And I certainly have enjoyed it, thank you @bascb!

    7. The president of the Formula One Grand Prix of America (i.e., the one in New Jersey) has resigned:

      I really don’t know what to make of that, to be honest! Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe he just wanted to do other things. Still, it’s slightly unsettling.

      1. I saw that’s Negative Camber commented on it probably being a bit of inner politics involved in him leaving.

    8. “It is possible that one manufacturer will do significantly better than the others, at which point you might end up with that manufacturer’s cars at the front of the grid

      i understand from Newey’s statement the engine manufacturer will supply the same engine they use to their clients (well in the case of Renault that’s possible because Renault is only an engine supplier) but that’s not the case for Ferrari & Mercedes
      i can’t see Ferrari supplying Toro Rosso the same technology they use or Mercedes giving Force India the same technology they give to Mclaren
      i really don’t understand how on earth we could end up with an engine manufacturers’ championship in this case ????

      1. Nowadays teams seem more interested in keeping their finances right, having engines as one of major income sources could mean that Mercedes or Ferrari will actually become really focused in supplying good engines, in some ways it can salvage bad seasons, Mercedes want to leave F1 as a team, so having good results with Mclaren may help them withdraw the sport but not completely, if Ferrari has a good season with Sauber, they could perhaps keep the accounts straight as Ferrari keeps complaining about F1s expenditure. I’m lead to believe that Mercedes and Ferrari aren’t going to supply 2nd grade engines, but if they see themselves playing against their own engines, i’m sure something spicy might happen.

      2. Newey probably meant works teams would dominate because they would get the best engines.

        Strange, he didnt find it worrying when his team was dominating.

        1. The more cynical bit of me thought exactly that too vjanik.

        2. I think he means, a particular engine. Lets face it, Renault were good in the turbo era, Mercedes were not present and Ferrari hated those turbos.
          But the fact remains that, with new engines, a particular engine manufacturer might just get a better performing engine, and the leading teams signed up to that engine will prosper.
          Assuming Cosworth were to have a wonderful turbo V6, HRT and Marussia, would still find it hard to run consistently at the front, but were Williams to have such an engine, they would dominate the season.

          1. Ferrari hated those turbos

            Constructor championship :1982,1983
            First victory of a turbocharged car in Monaco : Gilles Villeneuve 1981
            Renault were the first to adapt turbocharged engine in F1 but later when Ferrari introduced their version they where recognized to have the most powerful engine
            they have the best engine in the worst chassis

    9. I don’t understand Newey’s complaint. Yes, it might become an engine’s manufacturer’s championship, just like today it’s an chief aerodynamicist championship, where not so long ago an exhaust-blown diffuser made your car go 1 second per lap faster. It will always be about which team/engineers will find the best performance out of a set of parameters. And also, assuming, as he suggests, that one engine manufacturer will dominate, then given the fact that there will be 3 engine manufacturers and 12 teams, i hardly doubt that 4 teams battling for 1st position will make the championship less interesting.

      1. You make good points, noting that the championship can often be seen as an x championship where x is whatever/wherever the technology is causing a difference between teams.

        The issue with engines and why I think it is a concern is that engine development has been largely frozen in recent years and if the new engines come in unequal and get frozen that way, it will be difficult for those behind to catch up. It may currently take weeks or even months to copy another squad’s diffuser, exhaust, or wing. With power differences, though, it is much more difficult to claw those back in-season. That’s what I read as Newey’s concern – also that he is heavily involved in aero/design and that might have less influence in an engine-dominated season.

    10. Dimitris 1395 (@)
      21st August 2012, 9:40

      In my opinion, Kubica was the best driver in the grid in 2010. In a car that was capeable of just getting in the points, he had extremely good qualifying sessions (Monaco) as well as races (Australia, Belgium, Singapore). He never finished behind P8 except for Bahrain, where he had a 1st corner accident and fell back. Consistent, fast and talentes, he could win at least one championship and if he won’t return, he will be the biggest “What if” in the history of F1…

      1. For me he was equally talented to Alonso and Hamilton and they both also knew it. One of the greatest talent in recent years lost forever :(

        And what a shame this accident happened after only first his year in F1, when he was leader of the team, not just driver, as it was in BMW days (remember how he wanted push for title in 2008, but team said “no”?). Few more years into future it would be still tragic, but at least we would see what he was truly capable of. Sadly, his career was cut short.

    11. We all should calm our nerves about Kubica. I’m 100% sure, that the moment he announces he is fit enough to drive an F1 car, he will be drowning in test offers. There is just no way an F1 team wouldn’t like to give such a driver a try. Even after all these problems.

      Then again, he might just never really bother to come back to F1, and concentrate on rallying, which is his passion, as everyone know. Well, whatever happens, he has my support.

    12. I have been reading polish Robert Kubica blog fansite since his accident:
      From everything posted there official and unnoficial, it appears to be one stumbling block for his return, his elbow. He had simulator tests earlier this year and could not turn the steering wheel left correctly in a cockpit (although he could driving a rally car), so he had an operation again (maybe not final) in May on his elbow to help rotation. no one knows the success of that yet. but his doctor and others have said he has everything else functional again including full use of his hand and fingers. he is said to be testing a S2000 rally car in october now. I think that is a good choice. he will regain his mental strength driving a rally car first and overcome previous mental trauma (since the accident was in a rally car), and will keep him in racing form until more of the nerves regain strength in his right arm. nerves take a long time to regrow, but very slowly. My father had a hand split in the 70s in a workplace accident, and to this day only has about 60% use of the hand. but Kubica had a world class surgeon work on his, and is said to have already regained full use of his finger. i am sure we will hear of Kubica again in top racing, maybe not straight away in f1, but for sure Rally, where his passion sits anyway, and where he has been photographed many times this year in rally events in Italy as a spectator. There is already the video on youtube of his return to driving a rally car in february of march this year, where an autosport magazine article verified it WAS him driving (unlike some people on youtube think), and he proved to himself still capable, by posting times faster in the same car then a couple years back on the same track and same car – but that is not applicable to f1, but it is to his soul as a driver, so if he does not regain enough mobility in the right arm for f1 driving, he will still succeed elsewhere in motorsport. but the hours of rehab he does everyday suggests it is f1 or nothing. if he returns, it will be one of the best return stories, up their with Alex Zanardi at the Paralympics in the coming weeks!

      The man who probably has attained “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” status on the F1 paddock possibly thinks he deserves a race seat at Lotus.
      Honestly, I’m beyond shocked. I’m amazed at his audacity that he can still mouth a criticism about an F1 driver. He should be imposed with a gag order.

    14. Caterham – Leafield: Other than some new furniture, a super computer and a new floor the ex- Super Aguri employees would think nothing had changed!
      They’re even the same car bays and one of the same Autoclaves.

      1. Did you go there when it was Super Aguri?

        1. Yes, I went to view the Super Aguri Auction in July 2008. Which I must say was brilliant as we had unrestricted access about the whole building and took loads of photos! The whole F1 team and all of it’s belongings was arranged for everyone to see.
          We went to have a look to see if there was anything of use for our car (<-avatar.) then at the last minute FormTec jumped in and bought the whole lot.

          1. @370hssv Cool – are your pics online anywhere?

            Also, what’s this car you’re building?

            1. @keithcollantine Thanks, my pics aren’t online anywhere, but I can dig them out and upload some to my Flickr if you would like?

              The car is a 1996 Lola F3000 car with a Mugen Zytek V8 which we’ve converted from manual sequential to a paddle shift car with our own clutch control unit!

          2. Yes please post the pictures @370hssv!
            Are you getting the car up and running, or is there a lot of work still to do?

    15. Can’t really get behind the COTD to be honest. I manage to walk home from work every day without getting killed or even injured! I’m sure the F1 circus can manage it as well. It’s called road sense and it works for both pedestrians and drivers.

      All the safety measures in the world won’t stop someone from forgetting their green cross code.

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