Kubica may have crashed out of rallying for good

2016 F1 season

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Former Formula One driver Robert Kubica may have crashed out of rallying for good. The 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner departed the Monte-Carlo Rally earlier today after skidding off an icy road at low speed into a tree.

Kubica told Motorsport News earlier this month he was unlikely to return to the World Rally Championship after this week’s season-opener.

“For now though we have no programme for the rest of the year,” he said. “At the moment it stops after Monte”.

Kubica, who last raced for Renault in 2010 before seriously injuring his left arm in a rally crash the following year, ran his own entry in the WRC last year but is unwilling to do so again.

“If we continue in rallying, it has to be different to last year – that was crazy,” he said. “It’s such a big commitment to do the whole year. I would prefer to not do all the rallies, but really prepare well for the ones we are doing.”

However Kubica also left the door open for a potential return to circuit racing. “It’s possible for us to do something else and there are some options for the second half of the season. This could mean getting back in a race car. If I do that then I will dedicate all of my times to this – it would be a longer-term project”.

Kubica has previously said his injuries would make it impossible for him to race an F1 car competitively. He tested a Mercedes DTM car three years ago.

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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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28 comments on “Kubica may have crashed out of rallying for good”

  1. Kubica has shown to be fast, but somehow I get the impression that he puts too much pressure on himself to be faster (because he used to be faster). I hope he finds a way to deal with it and will be racing something and winning again soon.

    1. He was 3 seconds behind Ogier at the first split on that stage, and then only 1 seconds according to gps at the point of the crash… so typical of bad luck for Kubica, he can drive perfect and then crash in such a slow and embarrassing way!

  2. I suspect he’d be a good fit for rallycross (either FIA RX or Red Bull GRC), as he can combine his off-road experience with his skills in traffic. Whether he wants to do that or not is a different matter of course.

    1. @pjtierney Can’t believe I never thought of him in a Rallycross car before – that would be a brilliant move. Hope it happens…

      1. I would like to see if any LMP1 teams would give him a test. It was cockpit size that was the issue with F1 but more room in an LMP1 car? Who would not like to see Kubica attempt LeMans?

      2. Robert said something about RX as an option for WRC after 2014 season. Unfortunately there was no other news then. Some say he may take another arm surgery but personally I don’t believe that. He will decide, we must wait.

    2. Kubica would be a great addition for the very competitive FIA WRX. Really would like to see him join.

    3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      22nd January 2016, 16:41

      Great shout, would be awesome to see him in RX or GRC!

    4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      22nd January 2016, 16:49

      I also think they should rename the GRC to ARC (American Rallycross Championship)

      Calling it ‘global’ is just dumb. Going to Barbados once a year does not a global championship make.

      Its like calling the old British F3 the ‘World F3 Championship’ because they used to nip over to Spa every now and again.

      1. Yes, but this is the USA, we call all our championships “world” championships of some sort :)

        1. Maybe it’s more about participants rather than locations?

    5. I’d also love to see him in Rallycross, though I doubt it’s possible. He’s said several times that it’s the tight corners where he struggles with his limited mobility.

    6. @pjtierney I don’t believe his injury would allow him to do rallycross as I believe he struggles most in the tighter/trickier sections of stages that involve a lot of wheel input which is the sort of thing you get in rallycross.

      I’m led to believe that he has to do a lot more driving with 1 hand than he would like to admit (Which is why he won’t allow an in-car camera to be placed in the car looking back towards him as every other WRC car has) so really struggles with fast changes of direction & is more at home on the more open sections of stage.

  3. I’ve been a fan of Kubica since his rookie season in F1 – my late grandmother was very proud of her own Polish origins, and so is my father, who was also a fan of Kubica’s when he was there. After winning the WRC-2 title, I’d thought to myself that Kubica could redeem himself in the sport that took away his F1 career. The last 2+ years, it’s taken away even more. He was rushed into WRC after basically one year of professional rallying – compared to most of your top guys who have spent years in the lower ranks since they were teenagers to hone their craft.

    Rallycross would be a great second route for him as @pjtierney mentioned. So would GTE Pro at Le Mans, and I’m partial to a role in Super GT as unlikely as it is. I just want to see Kubica be successful again, somewhere, if this is indeed the end of the road in WRC.

    1. Such a shame. Such a talented and nice guy and one must respect his will to compete in a field he loves. Personally I think he should stick to poker. He’s great at it and there is no chance of injury. Real life isn’t a movie.

      1. He is a great driver and I hope he finds some joy in what he does. Recovery can be a huge challenge, mentally as well as physically.
        If Robert ever writes a book I will buy a copy in english. Until then I think I will reread Ari Vatanen’s book.
        Life rolls on……

  4. And that ladies and gentlemen is understeer. You could see how little fun he was having as he hit the tree, if only he’d been a bit more liberal with the throttle to flick the back out it would at least have been exciting.

    1. Ok, it is also called ice ;) Chances are the snow became compacted and froze overnight/couple nights after they did their pace notes. I wonder if they were using full studded tires?

      1. They were using soft slicks. The same as others did.
        Robert said in after-rally polish interview that he was testing different settings for turbo on ss3 as it was planned. I don’t know how this part is named in english, but it keeps engine revs a bit higher on lower gears and gives driver more turbo pressure after corner. You can hear it on video. It caused understeer on ice when he was about 20 mph.
        it should not happen. Last year he used totally different setup.

  5. @keithcollantine – Apparently, he’s actually continuing! Or at least, he’s on the entry list for Rally Sweden! http://www.rallysweden.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Official-Entry-List-2016.pdf

    1. Yeah, he actually is but he said that he is not going to Sweden for now. Unfortunately. I hope it will change.

  6. Or he should retire and forming RK Racing instead..

  7. He is a 101% driver for me… Always slightly over the edge. To bad WRC does not feature runoff.

    Maybe he should do some GT or WTCC racing?

    His hand is greatly disabled, can be seen from video, so basicly he is beating competition singlehandedly.

    He does love rallying, saddly he cannot get enough sponsorship

    Motosport then is dangerous. Best of luck to him. He will continue to do his thing for sure.

  8. What’s the different between him & Nannini..?

  9. pretty hard headline, instead of posting any headlines when he did well (he has won about 14 stages in WRC – and many more top 3 spots, in a privateer ford car (the worst you can get) – and is usually faster then the factory m-sport ford drivers), Keith chose to only mention this update to his career.
    Ask any rally expert, and they will tell you Kubica HAS the speed, that is not in question now after his heroics last year in the privateer ford, but his only problem is consistency – but lets not forget he has driven rallies for about 3 years versus drivers doing rallies for 20 years, and is faster then many of them already. AND he is doing it with a severe disability for a driver (hardly any movement in right hand and wrist). give the guy a break, the only reason he cant get a seat in a factory WRC car is because there is only about 6-8 of them available. Volkswagon actually refused Kubica a customer car, because they know his potential, and so he has to keep driving a Ford, with hardly any testing all year, so is severally disadvantaged compared to the factory drivers. To say “may have crashed out of his last rally” shows only the headlines of his crashes are taken into account. He can very easily race the next 10 years in WRC in a customer car, but the reason he might have driven his last WRC rally is because he can not get a package together that will see him compete with the other top drivers. He lost 10 kilograms over the offseason, which tells us he might be preparing himself to go back to circuit racing. He could go to DTM, but there is also small whispers of WEC later this year. most likely though, is that he will do a deal with the Italian BRC team and Lotos sponsorship which he drove for in Monte Carlo, and for part or full WRC season this year, it is much better resourced then the team he had last year, which he essentially ran all by himself.

    1. I don’t understand your complaint. I haven’t written anything about his driving ability, I just pointed out that he said this was going to be his last rally, he may return to circuit racing (which interests me more than rallying) and that his last rally is now over because he crashed out of it.

      1. My complaint is your headline and choice of time when to report about kubica. You never once made a report of when he did well in rallying, and selected to report on him only when his wrc drives might be over, and your headline is so misleading, because kubica will leave WRC at his own accord and NOT BECAUSE of CRASHING, and could very well do WRC2 again or ERC, and yet most likely he will compete in WRC this year for the whole season.. He is commited to rallying, and journalists like you not on the track won’t push him out with your dull headlines And comments sourced indirectly. Please visit powrotroberta.blogspot.com polish site

        1. Nothing wrong with the Headline, Keith. He had said it was his last rally and he crashed out!! Fantastic driver but that doesn’t guarantee anything in today’s finance driven motorsport world!

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