In the second episode of Formula 1’s ‘Beyond The Grid’ podcast, Williams’ Robert Kubica has opened up on various topics of his career so far.
The Pole reveals about his humble start with his dad in karting – which he still thinks is the best form of motor racing. He talks on how at the age of 13-years he was able to push to the limit with his karts, especially from a technical point of view.
The Williams reserve driver actually thinks that he was technically superior than Nico Rosberg when they drove together and that the German would use Kubica’s knowledge to run his karts in those days.
Staying with karting, he recalls how he managed to get one up on Lewis Hamilton when they competed together in one of the European rounds. He would use a trick which would give him the advantage to win the heats.
He still regards Hamilton as one of best drivers he has competed with but admits the relationship he had with the British driver 20 years back is not the same now – although he doesn’t blame anyone here, adding that it is just a change which happens to everyone.
Moving ahead, he reveals about a road accident in Poland before his Formula 3 career started which delayed his season start by three rounds, but then he made immediate impact at Norisring driving for Prema and won the first race despite with bandages.
In all of this, Kubica’s target was never F1 as he never followed the sport regularly in Poland with the country not broadcasting the races. Instead, he would watch the British Touring Car Championship which was aired albeit two seasons older.
But he eventually made it to F1 when he drove Fernando Alonso’s 2005 Renault, which he thinks is by far the best car he has driven. With his career only surging ahead, he talks why he didn’t sign for Toyota and went with Renault instead.
But the biggest bombshell he dropped was to reveal about his contract with Ferrari for the 2012 season when he signed with the then boss Stefano Domenicali – at a lower price than Renault, but the deal was done to race alongside Alonso.
In fact, the rally which almost killed his career in 2011 was the event he didn’t want to do but he did it on the request of the team and also knowing that it could be his last-ever rally since Ferrari would never allow him to compete alongside F1.
He admits the pain of missing the drive was not huge as he was fighting for his life more and during the whole process he started to limit on his social life and just concentrate on the rehab in the difficult period.
He returned to the DTM paddock in 2013 but immediately had those vibes of F1 going through his head for which he moved back to rallying later on, so that he is not in touch of things related to F1.
But eventually he did make the F1 return with Renault which started the journey he is in currently and wishes to end it with a full-time drive if possible – a Williams reserve role is another step forward as he thinks.