Kubica: The goal is to reach the highest levelMarch 5, 2019
In 2019, after an eight-year break in Formula 1, Robert Kubica returns – already as a driver of the basic Williams team. Returned, despite the consequences of injuries sustained in a terrible accident on the rally track, which the Pole hit in February 2011. Then he was 26 years old, he had already held 76 Grand Prix and took 8th place following the results of the previous season, his first in Renault, where he had high hopes with Robert. Moreover, he already had preliminary agreements with Ferrari for 2012, but overnight everything changed.
About what kind of character Kubica has, the doctors who treated him quickly learned. Robert started practicing on a racing simulator already during rehabilitation, when the bones of a broken right leg had not yet grown together, and there were quite a few operations on his right hand in front. This is how Italian doctor Riccardo Chekarelli, a specialist in sports medicine, who worked with more than 70 riders, recalls that period.
The controls on the simulator were converted so that Kubica could control only a healthy left hand. At the same time next to the simulator was engaged in one of the young riders, who performed in the series GP3, “driving” on the same track.
“GP3 driver really laid out, it was clear how his whole body tensed, he tried very hard,” said Chekarelli. – Robert piloted very smoothly, acted with one left hand, and his movements seemed to be slow. I thought that he was only adapting to the track, but when I looked at the results, it turned out that Robert drove the lap half a second faster. He did not make any unnecessary movement, everything was very accurate. It is simply amazing.
This is its advantage. The point is not to check his physical abilities, not how many kilograms he can lift. There are a whole range of qualities required by the rider. The talent for music is also manifested in children of three years old, even then it is felt that a person will become a great musician. And Robert is a born racer. And he is very strong by nature. ”
Robert himself says that he would not have signed a contract with Williams, if he hadn’t been 100% sure of himself, that he was able to fly a Formula 1 car no worse than before. The Williams team is also not in doubt.
“I have never perceived Robert as a person with any injuries,” said Claire Williams, deputy head of the team. – I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m used to seeing my father (Frank Williams, the founder of the team, is confined to a wheelchair after a car accident, which I got in 1986), although I don’t compare anything, but I just don’t pay attention to it. I perceive people in accordance with their deeds, the way they carry out the tasks that you set for them.
Robert has always exceeded our expectations. Last year, although he did not receive the contract for the main driver, he began working with us as a backup pilot – this is also evidence of strength of character. Of course, there are moments that have to be taken into account, because we must be sure that a person is able to drive a racing car.
Our engineers are sure of this, and all the reports that I received from them testified that he is more than able to fly a Formula 1 car. We would not sign a contract with him if we had any doubts. If we talk about his physical training, we must also try to find a stronger rider “.
In order to Kubica was comfortable behind the wheel, engineers Williams made some changes in the arrangement of controls.
“The buttons and switches are just different,” Robert explained. – For example, if I got used to some kind of switch, instead of which there was a stalk, I asked to redo something, but this is more likely to be more comfortable and familiar. It’s not about physical limitations. ”
According to Dr. Chekarelli, another strong point of the Pole is his psychological preparation: “We work to ensure that the brain acts selectively, so that it does not spend resources on something that a person does not need. In this regard, Robert is extremely strong.
Even if he finds himself in a difficult situation, he is able to disconnect from external sources of stress in order to focus only on piloting. Therefore, he spends very little energy. I believe that he is the only racer who is able to drive a Formula 1 car despite physical limitations. Because piloting is a natural state for him, and he acts very economically, and this allows us to compensate for a lot. ”
What are the sports indicators capable of Robert Kubica? He does not know that, in which he is ready to honestly admit: “I am pleased that my name is associated with high results, they consider me a racer, who achieved them. In 2010, I played well the whole season. Personally, I think – and I hope so, that is my goal – that I can achieve the same feelings that I experienced in 2010.
I know: if that feeling comes back, then I can count on good results. This will require some time, additional effort, commitment, but I’m not afraid of that. The challenge is to reach the highest level I am able to get to. And I do not think that this takes much time.
At the same time, I try not to force events. This approach I chose from the moment I started working on tests in Formula 1 in 2017. If I didn’t feel 100 percent certainty, I didn’t risk it. I participated in private tests or was a backup racer, so I could not allow stupid mistakes. But now it is time to find the limit of the possible, to determine it precisely, and this already involves a more serious risk.
But in the race you always need to take more risks. It is important to find a reasonable balance … I can fly off the track, but sometimes you have to try it out and see how aggressive you can be. And I’m going to attack. But I remain a realist, I will act gradually, move forward step by step. This is an honest and open approach, I am not trying to hide my limitations. But no discounts on this can be. I am such a person.
It’s great if this is enough to continue to compete in Formula 1 in the future. If not – well, I tried. This is a very difficult test, but in the previous eight years I have overcome much more serious difficulties. ”
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