Kubica to return to BMW for DTM test next week

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Robert Kubica will reunite with BMW for a test in their DTM car at Jerez next week.

The 34-year-old took BMW’s only win in Formula 1 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2008, driving for BMW Sauber. He started his last F1 race for Williams on Sunday and is known to be considering a move into Germany’s premier touring car championship.

Kubica will drive the BMW M4 DTM in the championship’s young driver test alongside Nick Yelloly.

“I would like to thank BMW Motorsport for the opportunity,” said Kubica. “I am already very much looking forward to the test and to getting to know the DTM race car with its turbo engine.”

“I can well imagine a future in the DTM,” he added. “I am looking for a new challenge, and the DTM is certainly just that. The series has a top-class field and the standard of driving is extremely high. However, we must first wait and see how I get on at the test.”

BMW group motorsport director Jens Marquardt said Kubica “is a big name on the international motor racing scene, with a lot of experience in high-class series like Formula 1.

“We are now very intrigued to see how he gets on in his test at the wheel of a touring car.”

Kubica is understood to a favour a move into the DTM as it would allow him to continue participating in Formula 1 as a simulator driver and participate in some free practice sessions next year. He is pursuing such a deal with Haas for 2020.

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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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22 comments on “Kubica to return to BMW for DTM test next week”

  1. Good. DTM is the right place for him.

    But instead of doing F1 runs, I suggest he focuses on fishing… or snorkeling… or stamp-collecting!

  2. I don’t think he should do a simulator/development-driver role in an F1 team alongside a racing-program in another series. He hasn’t really got a chance in returning to being a full-time race driver in F1 anymore, so a bit pointless to do that.

    1. He’s got more of a chance returning to F1 then he did to get back into f1 at all. He has got very strong backing from PKN Orlen who made a great profit from kubicas popularity, and they will bring a lot of money to Haas, but kubicas and orlens involvement in 2020 will only be with the intention of racing in f1 in 2021. Grosjean is completely out of form and could get booted during next season. Don’t forget kubica left Williams, Williams did not get rid of him, he is thinking ahead to give himself a chance of racing a better f1 car.

      1. kpcart, when Kubica initially announced his return to F1, he didn’t ever explicitly state how long his contract with Williams would actually last for.

        I believe that there were a few rumours that the contract Kubica signed was for one year, with an option for 2020 – which suggests that his position at Williams in 2020 was conditional on his performance in 2019. It has led some to question whether Kubica’s claim that it was entirely his decision is entirely true, or whether there might have been an element of Williams allowing Kubica to walk away.

  3. Cristiano Ferreira
    5th December 2019, 20:13

    Seriously how can he be able to do a simulation work for an F1 team while he is so off the pace? I mean, how come the data he provides is usefull? Its the same if an F1 team hires me to do their simulation. Of course im exaggerating, but you get the idea.

    1. It’s not just about pace but also about technical feedback and so on… Look at Luca “slow” Badoer. He was a great test/development driver for Ferrari but during the racing… Not so quick. And I still feel that with better equipment Robert would have been much quicker.

      1. Cristiano Ferreira
        5th December 2019, 21:31

        Yeah i know what i mean, but guys like Kubica (development driver) do all the setup work and thats valuable and all, but what i don’t get is how they (the team) can measure if the data collected by the development driver is useful when they are so far off the pace compared to their current drivers.

        1. Cristiano Ferreira
          5th December 2019, 21:32

          *i know what you mean

        2. :D engineers are also way off pace, but can make the car faster.

          Offcoarse Williams team has fundamental issues to be that slow.

    2. In the past there were plenty of drivers that were much more off the pace of their team mate, yet they didn’t receive so much criticism and hate. I wonder why, maybe this “meme” and so on culture got something to do with it? Or maybe it’s a combination of Kubica being off the pace and williams being the very last car?

  4. Calling it now – if he enters DTM he’ll win the championship.
    Then back to F1 for 2021 or even better the ever improving future of motorsport, Formula E.

    1. That sounds like an optimistic assessment, particularly given that René Rast has been pretty dominant in DTM in recent years (two titles and a narrow 2nd place in the last three years), not to mention that Kubica would probably end up at BMW at a time when Audi seem to have an edge in that series.

      If he does go there, I suspect that any results would be rather more modest – maybe in the midfield, but saying he’ll win seems to be based on little more than hope springing eternal.

      1. Would I be correct in thinking that DTM cars need some serious physical hustling?
        If so it could be great strengthening therapy.
        @ + 1 on the championship.

      2. When toto wolff let kubica test a dtm car in 2013, when kubica was far more physically damaged and unfit at the time, he unnoficially drove faster than Mercedes dtm drivers of 2013.

          1. @tim-crimson, there was a single brief article on a Polish website that claimed that Kubica supposedly set a time that was 0.5s faster than Paffett did that day. However, that article did state their claim was entirely based on word of mouth at the time, as nobody ever published the actual lap times from that test.

            There is also the problem that the claims which that Polish outlet made directly contradict those made in the German press at the time. According to the German press, Kubica wasn’t faster than Paffett – the team were supposedly impressed by Kubica being close to Paffett’s pace, but they claim that his best time was 0.1s slower than Paffett’s best time.

            There is the added complication that the test he took part in was impacted by variable weather conditions, so we do not know what the track conditions were like when they set their best lap times. Furthermore, we don’t know what lap times the other drivers on track were also setting, so we don’t know if Paffett’s time was all that competitive to begin with – which is another important variable.

            It all means that there is no evidence for his performance in that test – the claims are based entirely on word of mouth and on speculation, which is why the claims on his performance in that test in 2013 are contradictory and don’t actually tell us how quick he was.

    2. Imo he won’t win DTM title. He was good at WRC2 level, but thats’s a development/feeder championship full of non adults or riches just like F2 currently. With his talent, experience and professionalism he managed to pwn them, but DTM is not a development championship, but a really great one with insane tech level, those cars are nice spaceships.
      Many quite good F1 drivers tried themselves at DTM, with mixed results. Hakkinen, Wehrlein, Di Resta, Alesi, Ralf Schumacher performed quite well. Frenzten, Coulthard, McNish had mixed or weaker results.
      And not to forget the fact that DTM has only a few manufacturers now, so the car is a great factor in the success too, it would be very hard to beat a lot of drivers having even a bit better machinery on a regular basis.
      Imo DTM and Formula-E is a harder competition than F2, or WRC2. Although I like Kubica, and wish him more succcess there. You know if Hamilton not wants a sidekick like Russell atleast before at least he can have a good shot to secure the 7th title, then Mercedes will support him doing that. There is too much money in F1 to release Russell to some random midfield team for the next season, I’m sad with it, but at least he can sign to Mercedes one season later. Where there is that much money the average guy won’t ever know more than they allow. But I have some feelings that Russell would be some Leclerc- or Ricciardo-like sidekick :) Of course that not means that he would instantly beat Hamilton, because that would be one of the best performances we have seen in the decade, but Lewis still has some chance to win 8 titles, and is supported to do that.

      1. Probably Kubica will feel more comfortable with he more room compared to the narrow formula cockpit, but I think there are some guys at DTM who can perform like the young Russell.

        1. Agreed, he should be top 5 easy. If he cannot do that, his racing career is over.

      2. Rally and circuit are two different worlds, F1 race winner Carlos Reutemann podiumed in WRC twice and i can’t think of any f1 driver that won even single wrc event. It’s like volleyball and handball in both you have two teams and a ball, but apart from that they are completely different disciplines.

        1. As the example of the mentiones F1 drivers at DTM shows, TC and open wheel racing are quite different too. Even if there were WTCC and there is WTCR now, it’s hard not to consider DTM as some world level chamiopnship at TC racing. Jose Maria Lopez was so good at WTCC, but looks like he’s not good at open wheelers racing as he is quite a backmarker at Formula-E.
          As a rare example Vic Elford won the Monte Carlo Rally, the European Rally Championship, Le Mans 24H, Daytona 24H, and finished in the points at F1 4 times of his 13 entries around 1970.

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