Robert Kubica, Williams, Yas Marina, 2019

Kubica doesn’t regret returning to F1 out of “passion”

2019 F1 season

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Robert Kubica says he doesn’t regret his return to Formula 1 with Williams this year, despite leaving the team at the end of a disappointing campaign.

The team scored just one point all season, courtesy of Kubica, though he never out-qualified his team mate all year and very rarely finished ahead. Kubica announced his plan to leave Williams two months before the season ended.

However Kubica is pleased to have demonstrated he could compete in Formula 1 despite the serious injuries he suffered in a rally crash early in 2011.

“I would not regret [it], first of all, because nobody had put a gun to me when I was deciding,” he said. “I had spent the last year with the team and I knew that it would not be easy.

“Of course we did chase some more issues than last year, especially in the beginning of the year, which were very unfortunate. And I think we kept paying a bill for a long time. Longer than people think.

“It [was] my goal when I stopped driving was to come back in the highest motorsport category on track, [in] which I would be able to race. And from human being point of view, a personal point of view, this has been a great achievement.

“Of course, as a race driver, this season has been very tough. But first the decision was made by passion, by trying to achieve a goal and a mission which I have. Of course the outcome is not as everybody was hoping, not only myself, but everyone. But that’s life, that’s motorsport, that’s Formula 1. And this is why F1 is so exciting and then so difficult.”

Kubica clashed with the team’s management at points during the season, particularly when the team chose not to run a new development front wing on his car during qualifying at Suzuka. However he hopes his former team bounce back from their recent slump.

“I hope for Williams, although I will not be here, that they will get better times and they will be able to race again,” he said. “Especially for the guys who have been working with me for this season.

“They have been always pushing and in difficult situations. It’s very easy to lose motivation but they didn’t and they really deserve an easier life. An easier life means a faster can. When you have a faster car, for everyone it’s easier.”

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16 comments on “Kubica doesn’t regret returning to F1 out of “passion””

  1. Looking back, you can see why Kubica wasn’t taken on by Renault for 2017, and then Williams for 2018- he obviously wasn’t showing quite enough speed in the car.

    Good on Williams for embracing that ‘feel-good’ story and putting Kubica back in the car for 2019.

    1. I don’t think that was the reason. He only did the one test for Renault in a 2017 car and finished 4th on the day in hungaroring, not bad for 7 years away. Renault did a deal to get sainz, he was a safer choice at the time. Williams explored him with more in depth testing, but chose sirotkins money for 2018. Kubica had about the same money for 2019 and was doing similar or better times than sirotkin and stroll in tests. but sirotkins management didn’t want to spend any more on this rubbish team, so that left them an opportunity to give kubica a seat. As many things in f1, a combination of circumstances. Alonso was stuck with a terrible car for 4 years, things don’t always go right

      1. Alonso destroyed his team mates, kubica was destroyed, ofc he had various problems, but there’s no comparison between the 2, alonso was just either unlucky or a bad team player.

  2. Personally, i liked that he did it. Sometimes it’s more about returning to the ring than about winning the fight. Although i wouldn’t have minded if he was more succesful of course.

    1. Sometimes it’s more about returning to the ring than about winning the fight.

      Very nicely said, @txizzle

  3. With Schumacher’s somewhat lukewarm come-back in 2010-12, I felt it was a shame to have tarnished his previously stellar reputation.

    With Kubica the position is different- he was clearly a brilliant driver during his first F1 spell, and it seems his speed dropped away somewhat by the time of his second spell- no doubt as a result of significant time spent out and, of course, due to his injuries. The second chapter has no bearing on the first.

    So I agree with others- just getting back into F1 was an achievement in itself. And that’s what matters.

    1. I don’t think the return tarnished his reputation in any way. In fact I view schumacher more favourably when he did come back. He still wanted to race and was willing to come back and put himself into the meat grinder that f1 can be. I rate that a lot higher than a driver who wants to race but won’t because it will hurt his racing record if doesn’t keep winning.

      1. Good point, and from what I understood Mercedes were willing to keep him, despite not being peaking like he did before. They eventually went with Hamilton after Schumacher kept uncertain before quiting.

        Overall, i also have a good feeling about his 2010-2012 revival. I would have liked to see him once more, but overall i still liked him a lot….much more than during his Ferrari domination (I started following F1 in ’99). Overall i strongly prefer that seasons are close, no matter who wins. Mercedes dominance has been annoying me. Some stats even represent the dominance. With its 3 different champions it was the least diverse decade, and i’m glad Rosberg was part of it, because the other 2 devide 9 titles. The closest other ones have different champions in 10 season (50’s and ’00’s).

        1. Schu had very little to show for his last stint at Merc. But the real shame is that he got the boot from Ferrari at the end of 2006, after losing 2 WDCs to the wicked Alonso/Renault/Michelin trio. With Michelin gone and a serious drop of the ball by Renault, Schu would have won easily at lest 2 more WDC’s with the Scuderia: Kimi got 2007’s and Felipe almost got 2008’s, and both were way below Schu’s level.

  4. Exceptional individuals eventually always find their way back…
    Thx champ and see ya soon!

  5. I think what he has achieved is amazing this year. Yes he was well and truly beaten on pace by the F2 Champion George Russell who looks to be a star of the future. But look at what he has really done, he nearly died, then had to cope with serious injuries, surgery and pain over the years. After the accident there was pretty much zero chance he would race let alone drive an F1 car again, but he worked hard, got into rally cars and eventually got a test with Renault.
    If any driver took 8 years away from F1 they would not be as quick as they were, just look at Schumacher after taking 3 years off, Kimi is nothing like he was in the first half of his career before his break from F1. Then to be able to drive an F1 car at a competitive pace with a physical disability is quite remarkable. Not having full use of one hand at the very top level is always going to take some feel and confidence away, certainly a few tenths of a second over a full lap.

    Russell was a rookie to F1 but don’t forget he had been racing single seaters for years in the build up and was racing F1 the previous year, Kubica was not racing single seaters so arguably he was more of a rookie than Russell.
    Perhaps a year in F2 would have been interesting (although no driver wants to be seen to move backwards). I honestly think if Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso had suffered the same injuries in 2011 they would be on a similar level.
    It’s a shame there has been a lot of negativity and nastiness and also obsessive Polish fans with conspiracy theories (Have a look at Williams Facebook) has got in the way of what has to be one of the greatest sporting comebacks.

  6. I’d have loved to see him race in the same team as Stroll. Pay to drive vs still alive (and kicking). No I’m not being facetious I believe that would have been the best education for Stroll available. Plus would have been 2 drivers with something to prove, albeit for totally different reasons.

    1. Cristiano Ferreira
      11th December 2019, 4:48

      Stroll probably would have bested Kubica. If im not mistaken, even Latifi set better times than Kubica in some FP1

      1. He did once, but the difference was 0,015 s. It was only practice seasion after all, so we don’t know if they both had the same programme.

  7. Cristiano Ferreira
    11th December 2019, 4:46

    Its sad to say that even weaker drivers like Pastor Maldonado or Marcus Ericsson could have done a better job than him.

    At least he proved to himself that he is capable of driving a formula car. What we will never know is if his pace could have improved if he was able to drive a second season in a row.

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