Robert Kubica, Mercedes, DTM, Valencia, 2013

Kubica: ‘I know F1 return might not happen’

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Robert Kubica, Mercedes, DTM, Valencia, 2013In the round-up: Robert Kubica says it’s difficult to accept he may not return to F1 in the future.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Kubica: I may never return to F1 (The Sun)

Robert Kubica: “Of course I would like to come back in F1, but I know that it might not happen. There are some things that are out of my control, and that?s more difficult.”

Brawn doesn’t fear suspension tech war (Autosport)

“Asked if a spending war was on the cards, Brawn replied: ‘I don’t think so. Ever since F1 cars have been invented and aerodynamics were understood, the compromise between suspension and aerodynamics has always been that – a compromise.'”

Bahrain: Targeted Raids and Arbitrary Detentions (Human Rights Watch)

Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson: “These raids and detentions suggest that officials are more concerned with getting activists out of circulation for the Formula One race than with addressing the legitimate grievances that have led so many Bahrainis to take to the streets.”

Rights group says Bahrain arrests 20 before Grand Prix (NBC)

Bahrain information minister Sameera Rajab: “We discredit any news of such arrests in recent days or even months.”

Luiz Pinto de Freitas (FIA)

“The FIA regrets to announce the sudden death of Luiz Pinto de Freitas, President of the Portuguese club FPAK and member of the World Motor Sport Council.”

How did McLaren beat Ferrari for the first time? (McLaren)

Emerson Fittipaldi: “As we reached the 15-laps-to-go stage, I expected Colin [Chapman] to signal Ronnie [Peterson] to let me pass. But he didn?t. So I began to drive as hard as I could, right on the limit, and I caught up with Ronnie, and we began to race flat-out for the win.”

Chinese Grand Prix Betting: Rosberg to take away Chinese victory (Unibet)

My latest article for Unibet.

Never before seen Formula 1 photographs. Until now (Richard Kelley)

“As a young photojournalist, Richard Kelley documented Formula One, from 1972 until 1984. He sought to record simple truths about the struggles and triumphs of the greatest drivers in the world competing to be the best with grace, intimacy, and impact.”


Comment of the day

How much has the great racing seen at Shanghai in the last few years been down to the track? Thoughts from @Matt90:

It produces fantastic races, and for that I don?t want to criticise it too much. But it doesn’t mean it’s a wonderful track.

And a lot of the reasons for it producing good races has nothing to do with the track layout itself, and more to do with its location and timing, as well as for the last couple of years being early enough in the season to coincide with teams being unfamiliar with the best way to handle the tyres.

It is still too typical of other Hermann Tilke tracks. The first corners feel a little awkward, although at least its an interesting novelty feature. The back straight feels too long, and turns 9 to 12 aren’t great.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Ayrton Senna scored one of his most memorable wins in the European Grand Prix at Donington Park on this day 20 years ago. Look out for a special article on this memorable race on the site later today.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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  • 55 comments on “Kubica: ‘I know F1 return might not happen’”

    1. The FIA regrets the death of Luiz Pinto Freitas, most motorsport fans here in Portugal don’t. I don’t mean by this that we were wishing his death, because that is not a good thing to do, but in the time he has been in the lead of the Portuguese federation, he has practically killed motorsports here, with a number of national championships vanishing and other getting very weak and having to merge with others. This was due to the lack of promotion and the brutal increase of licence and entry fees. But still, the federation was having financial losses every year. We show respect for him and his death, after all he was a close friend of Cesar Torres, the mentor of the great Rally of Portugal, but I can’t help feeling, and I’m not the only one, that this is an oportubity for FPAK to get their act together and push motorsports to the top again. Or at least near it.

      1. Lets hope it does help get in some fresh air, open up to a wider audience and maybe get back in the spotlight. After all, you could be having a very good protagonist in that young Red Bull program driver to root for soon @joao-pedro-cq

        1. His potential success ciuld help change the face of motorsports here, @bascb.

          1. I certainly hope so @joao-pedro-cq

      2. I don’t

        1. I did’t mean that. I need a [Delete] button.

      3. @joao-pedro-cq

        It’s clear he was not the best president ever but, the spectacular decline of motor sports in Portugal is not different from what we see in other disciplines.
        The bulk of the money in sports is financing football at the expense of other sports, motor sports included. Seems that sponsors wait until an outstanding athlete shines on his/her own to start supporting. The 3 top sports newspapers run Football front pages 365 days. Sponsors want heavily covered sports and once there’s only one in a country with limited funds…
        I’ve been very close to junior basketball in Portugal a decade ago and a whole generation of talented boys has been lost due to lack of institutional support and sponsorship while football thrived and produced global stars like Ronaldo. On the other hand, neighbor Spain has produced top stars in tennis, football, motor sports, golf, handball, basketball, cycling and so on…
        Let’s hope António Felix da Costa (and Miguel Oliveira) bring motor sports back to the spotlight in Portugal.

    2. I can’t see Kubica ever coming back as the longer he’s out the harder it will be to return to F1 & be competitive.
      Also with a lot of good young drivers coming up waiting to move into F1, Would any team take a gamble on him over someone who’s been running in GP2 or WSBR?

      Him coming back to F1 & been as competitive as he was before would be fantastic, Sadly just can’t see it happening.

      1. @stefmeister

        Sadly you are right. I was sincerely hoping for a Alonso-Kubica partnership at Ferrari a few years back..but all that seems very remote now. It will be a great surprise if Kubica does make it back into F1. Whoever hires his, will taking a big risk.

        1. I think when/if Kubica get’s fit it wouldn’t be too difficult for him to get a seat in F1, provided he’s got money or sponsors.

          Sure it’d be a huge risk for a top team to take him and throw him in at the deep end, but if he’s prepared to pay for a seat at a lesser team, then, if he’s still got it, the top teams will take notice and he could be signed up the following year

        2. It would still be something of a risk, but I’m sure if any large teams were interested then they could arrange a test in an older car to assess him.

    3. Breaks my heart to say it,but Kubica is never coming back.Rallying was a big mistake,he was a top end F1 driver,and it was unprofessional of him,exposing himself to such a risk for no good reason.Cost him dearly in the end,cost him an stelar F1 career.What a waste of such a talent.Basically he ran out of luck,luck that saw him through that horror crash in Canada 2007 basically unharmed.What a waste …

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        11th April 2013, 1:23

        says the guy with the kimi avatar lol

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        11th April 2013, 2:34

        I have not been in a worst-case scenario situation, but I think survivors sometimes feel that second “wind of life” as something telling them to do everything they want, that life is too short for them,
        The logic can tell us that if Zanardi (who lost both legs) survived that Indy crash with such a high cost, he should have stayed at home after that accident. Nope, he probably thought: “what the F…rinjs” and kept racing.
        Probably Kubica felt the same: He survived Canada, he saw his life in a second, he decided to take all the risks. It’s a short life after all

        1. Indeed, its interesting to read how Zanardi now says he wouldn’t want to go back to before that crash even if it was possible, as he has found new targets in life.

          In the same way, I can see Kubica become a very successful Rally driver, and all of us will forever keep saying “whatif” but I think its wrong to say its less worthy, just imagine him beating the likes of Loeb and Ogier. I think its a huge loss for F1, but happily not for motorsport.

      3. @kimster381 – I disagree with your criticism. Kubica felt he needed to rally in order to feel alive, to live. So he drove the rally races. That was not the mistake – the mistake was crashing. If he hadn’t crashed, no one would say his rallying was a mistake. Lament what happened, but we must move on for the past is just that. I hope Kubica will have a future in some form of motorsport, however, and will not be tormented by “what if’s”.

      4. It was a freak accident. In normal circumstances he would just graze the barrier, but the crash barrier was incorrectly attached and it penetrated the car’s cockpit.

        In my opinion F1 drivers can race in as many series as they want. If a driver wants to rally, wants to try a motocross bike, or race snowmobiles, then it’s up to him. I wouldn’t call that unprofessional.

    4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      11th April 2013, 1:42

      My only objection to what he did in Malaysia was the fact he apologised. If this is him retracting it then I’m not complaining.

      Team principals who think they can tell racing drivers not to try to win races are on a hiding to nothing. Vettel’s disobedience of his instructions was no different to Webber’s at Silverstone 18 months previously. Many other top drivers before them have done the same. Others probably would have but were never put in the situation.

      Vettel didn’t spend lap after lap on the radio whingeing about it – he handled it the way a real racing driver would and I’m glad he did. Nico Rosberg take note, please.

      I was really hoping Keith would break a rule and claim the COTD for himself this time.

      1. Webber’s at Silverstone 18 months previously

        as far as I remember Webber dared to pass Vettel…but did not pass him. Maybe he was just showing that he was in a strong position to do so, or maybe as all Vettel fans seem to think, he was trying to pass.. in which case its Mark’s turn to disobey team orders. Vettel has more to lose if Mark dosent abide by orders. Stay tuned

        1. as far as I remember Webber dared to pass Vettel…but did not pass him

          Because he couldn´t

          1. Because he couldn´t

            thats an interpretation. ‘couldnt’ = ‘didnt’ = team orders were not broken. so why is this used as precedence for what Vettel did in malaysia?

            1. *precedent

            2. @me262

              Team orders were not to race, he attented to pass, he couldn´t do it, not for not trying, he was racing.

              Simple Vettel was best back in Silverstone 2011 and in Malaysia three weeks ago…

          2. @celeste
            you are assuming he tried by what you saw. he looked as if he was trying to pass..not taking the same line into a corner, slipstreaming the car infront does not mean webber was going to pass…dont forget webber is a number 2 driver and at the end of the day, assume what you will, webber disobeying team orders had a different result to vettels last week

            Simple Vettel was best back in Silverstone 2011 and in Malaysia three weeks ago…

            but dont let that blind you…

            1. you are assuming he tried by what you saw. he looked as if he was trying to pass..not taking the same line into a corner, slipstreaming the car infront does not mean webber was going to pass…

              I´m not assuming, Webber said he tried and couldn´t himself

              I chose to race as hard and as fair as I thought was possible, trying my best to beat Seb. I got pretty close a couple of times but couldn’t quite pull it off.

              And Webber is just trying, when he disobeyed team orders, he acts like he is the most valient driver on the race, yet he acts like my 10 year old nephew after you don´t let him touch something.

              Q: (Adam Hay-Nicholls – Metro) Mark, Christian Horner has said that you should be fine with the team orders at the end and if you and Seb had raced until the end you would both have ended up in the fence. Do you agree with that? Was it the right call? Does this mean realistically that you are out of this championship?
              MW: I am not fine with it. No. That’s the answer to that. If Fernando retires on the last lap we are battling for the victory so I was fine until the end. Of course I ignored the team as I want to try and get another place. Seb was doing his best and I was doing my best. I don’t want to crash with anyone, but that was it. I tried to do my best with the amount of conversation I had. One-way conversation obviously as I wasn’t talking too much back. There was a lot of traffic coming to me, but I was still trying to do my best to pass the guy in front.

              Webber has never been punished for disobeying team orders, so why is he crying. In a few words he is a two faces.

            2. so what Vettel did in malaysia was justified by what webber did in silverstone? I suppose 2 wrongs make a right for driver number 1. multi 21 dosent make sense anyway, whats more it confuses the Toro Rosso drivers as to when they have to pull over when being lapped

              Webber has never been punished for disobeying team orders

              well he’s never really followed through anyway…I suppose disobeying team orders for webber is to be in vettel’s mirrors xD

            3. Guys, @me262, @celeste – I do think its well possible that Webber indeed did everything to show he COULD have beaten his teammate, but in the end decided not to do it. And then tell the world about how he tried to, to give make the message to his team even more pronounced.

              But does it really matter? Sure, he did not change the result because he couldn’t (either for not being able to, or for backing out of it for fear of repercussions), and Vettel did go for it and took the lead.

              Sure enough neither of the RBR drivers have seen any obvious punishment (as far as we know) for not heeding instructions to slow down.

              So what are we arguing about here really?

            4. @me262

              so what Vettel did in malaysia was justified by what webber did in silverstone? I suppose 2 wrongs make a right for driver number 1.

              Two misuses of team orders don’t make them right, but I firmly believe both Vettel and Webber were right to do what they did on those respective occasions.

        2. Red Bull has said team orders are dead for them.

          That’s good.

          1. @bascb

            So what are we arguing about here really?

            who’s arguing? this is an open discussion for Formula 1 and Sebastian Vettel fans

            1. I know that, but I really do not see where you 2 are in disagreement @me262, that’s why I was asking

            2. This is an open discussion for Formula 1 and Sebastian Vettel fans

              @me262 – There is no need to segregate the two terms. Supporters of an individual driver are fans of the sport.

    5. Abdurahman (@)
      11th April 2013, 2:01

      Those Richard Kelley photos are astonishing!

      1. +1, Great stuff!

      2. Definitely excellent!

    6. dare I say grosjean wouldn’t have had a second bite of the cherry had it not have been for kubica’s crash? Kimi and Kubica would have been a formidable line up

      1. I think we’d probably be seeing a Kubica-Grosjean lineup, actually, with Kimi possibly driving for Williams.

        1. I thinks so too @aka_robyn, after all Lotus would not have been on the lookout for a lead driver if they had had Kubica. And I doubt their budget allows for two top driver salaries anyway.

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        11th April 2013, 2:20

        Fortunately Kubica is alive. I was reading chunks of Fittipaldi’s chronicle, and the thing which was most different to current f1 those days was how unpredictable your career could be. You could be winning a race one day and dying the next weekend. Many, many drivers died and I thing those guys were the bravest sportsmen on Earth.
        Kubica has escaped from 2 near-miss accidents and it’s so good to see him walking, talking, racing. Of course we can say our “what if”s about the lineup, but drivers so good as Clark or Gilles, Ayrton… they were gone and left many more “what f”s for us

        1. @omarr-pepper – yes! I hope Kubica doesn’t crack mentally, now or later in life, tormented by regret over taking the rally risk in the first place. I’m not suggesting that he should manifest that thinking, but it would be only human to get caught up in that mentality. So I hope he can adapt full time to another form of motorsport and make aliving at it…

        2. Yeah he’s very fortunate. I was just watching re-runs of the 1955 championship and during one race there was an accident that killed 3 drivers. THREE! In ONE race, including one of whom who was very promising.
          Just goes to show that perhaps the drivers take advantage of the safety regulations. Obviously they’re aware of the risks but they can dare to do things or race closer than ever before. Saying that, drivers back in the day were also racing in multiple series/events Nd living with an even greater risk.
          Just makes you realise how devastatingly close those drivers were always to the edge and most certain death.

      3. Having won GP2 and generally excelled in all feeder series, Grosjean would still have been a likely candidate for other seats.

    7. Someone needs to tell me what they see in the chinese GP. Everyone involved despises it but everyone at home likes it, why?

      1. Not exactly certain, and that Tweet – “Now if the F1 track had this view in the background the Chinese GP would be worth coming to!” really expresses what they think of the event.
        Personally, I have to disagree with Mark Thonson’s opinion of the city because I think Shanghai is one of the least pleasant cities on the planet. And that view – from the Bund to Pu Dong – ignore the fact that there’s a six lane highway a few metres behind you.

    8. Wonderful piece Emmo wrote for McLaren. Two things that really stood out in that story were Chapman’s decision not to issue team orders and Fittipaldi’s experience with racing wheel-to-wheel with Regazzoni. I think we should make it obligatory for ex-drivers to write blogs like these, as it makes for such great reading material.

      1. I like it too @andea23, but not sure about all drivers writing blogs, how interesting would it be to have 80 such blogs per month on more or less the same subject?

        When I see some of the things we get from Stewart, Lauda, Jones, Piquet and Villeneuve (and full time pundits like Brundle, Coulthard, McNish, …), I am not all too sure I could cope with all ex-drivers blogging around all the time.

        Better to have a few that really stand out.

        1. @bascb (hope I got that right :P) Yeah, maybe it’s a bit overkill to have that many bloggers, but it would nice to read these kind of stories a bit more often than once a month… as longs as it’s not Villeneuve.

      2. that should have been @anae23, sorry for getting the a and e the wrong way around :-)

        1. somehow I seem to be unable to get that right today @andae23!

    9. “Rosberg to take away Chinese victory”

      I see what you did there :-)

      In more serious news, hosting a Grand Prix these days apparently involves sending out teams of masked men to raid homes in the middle of the night. Terrific.

      1. A desert take away @adrianmorse

        I know, not funny really.

    10. Don’t think will ever be back in F1. Wish him all the best in rally though.

      1. Correction – Don’t think HE will ever be back

    11. In all honesty, I would find a suspension war much more interesting than a war over who has the most elements on their front wing. That is just tedious and far from interesting compared to the days of old.

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