Kubica, Robert PDF Print E-mail

 Robert Kubica


 

Nationality: Polish
Date of Birth: 7 December 1984
Place of Birth:
Krakow
   
Marital Status: Single
Height: 1.83 m
Weight: 72 kg
Hobbies:
Bowling, computer games, indoor karting
Website: www.kubica.pl
   
Grand Prix Starts: 63
Poles:
1
Wins:
1
Points:
196
Fastest Laps:
0
Championships:
0
First Race:
Hungary 2006


 

Formula 1

 
     
2010 Renault F1 Team, Car No. 11
2009 BMW-Sauber.  (17 points, 14th in WDC)   
2008 BMW-Sauber: (75 points, 4th in WDC) Won first race in Canada, gained first pole position in Bahrain.  
2007 BMW-Sauber: (39 points, 6th in WDC)  
2006 BMW-Sauber: (6 points, 16th in WDC)  

 

Competition History

   
2006
BMW Sauber F1 Team – 12 outings as Friday test driver, 6 race involvements
2005
1st place World Series by Renault, four wins
2nd place Formula 3 Grand Prix Macau
2004
7th place Formula 3 Euro Series
2nd place Formula 3 Grand Prix Macau
2003 First races in the Formula 3 Euro Series, one win
1st place Formula 3 Masters in Sardinia
2002 2nd place Italian Formula Renault 2000, four wins
2001 First races in Italian Formula Renault 2000
2000
4th place European Kart Championship (Formula A)
4th place World Kart Championship (Formula A)
1999
1st place Italian Kart Championship (juniors)
1st place German Kart Championship (juniors)
1st place Monaco Kart Cup
winner of the Margutti Trophy
1998
1st place Italian Kart Championship (juniors)
2nd place European Kart Championship (juniors)
1st place Monaco Kart Cup
1995-7 six titles in Polish kart championships (juniors)


2009 Questions and Answers

How far will driving in Formula One change in the 2009 season compared to 2008?
Aerodynamics will be reduced by around 40 or 50 percent, so the downforce level of the cars will be much lower. Taking this into account, Formula One will be influenced much more mechanically than aerodynamically. Nevertheless, aerodynamics will still play a big role. I expect quite big differences between the cars – especially at the beginning of the season. The return of slick tyres is one of the best things to happen in Formula One in the last five or six years. I guess that all drivers prefer slicks to grooved tyres and are pretty happy. Finally, the introduction of KERS is a major change. However, at the moment it is hard to predict how much it will affect driving.

What are the attributes/characteristics a good Formula One driver needs?
First of all performance – you have to be quick. Additionally, understanding the technical side of the sport and being able to give good feedback to the engineers. Also, the driver’s experience and the way he works with the team are important. There are many factors that make a good Formula One driver.
However, if I have to choose one attribute, it is definitely performance.

Away from Formula One you like to play poker and snooker and go bowling. How do they compare with F1?
They don’t compare with Formula One at all. That’s why I like them. In my job, I spend a lot of time with a lot of action, high speed and noise. By contrast, poker and bowling are quite steady. You don’t have to put in too much effort. Especially when I am bowling I can completely switch off my brain and relax.
During the winter break I took part in some tournaments. I have some friends who play at a very high level in Europe. I really enjoy playing with them.

Please describe yourself in three words.
Determined. Easy-going. Distanced.

What has been your greatest success so far?
Winning the Italian Karting Championship back in 1998.

How do you deal with set-backs?
Losing is part of life. You have to take the positive aspects from winning and the positive aspects from losing. Set-backs can make you much stronger. Actually, you can profit much more from losing than from winning. The years in my life I learnt most were the years when I was not able to achieve my goals.
During these times I became a lot stronger. Of course, I enjoy the times when everything is running smoothly. But life is always changing – sooner or later you will have to deal with difficulties again. It is important to conquer these difficulties in the right mood and to learn from them.

What does family mean to you?
Family is very important for me. My family have given me a lot of support during my entire career, but also away from my job as a racing driver. They are one of the most valuable, if not the most valuable part of my life.

What does home mean to you?
A lot of people who meet me tend to say I would be half Italian because I’ve spent a lot of time in my life in Italy. I therefore understand the Italian mentality and like Italy a lot. However, I am 100 percent Polish. My hometown is Krakow and I feel absolutely at home whenever I am there. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time in Poland lately due to my busy calendar.

When is Robert Kubica satisfied?
Never.


Interview - Questions to Robert Kubica:

Who gave you the most help at the start of your career?
That would be my parents, no question. I’m extremely proud of them and really grateful for everything they’ve done for me. When you’re so young, it’s difficult to make a lot of decisions and you’re really dependent on your parents. My mum and dad have always accepted and supported what I’ve wanted to do. Between the ages of eight and ten I practised very hard. There were no kart tracks in Krakow and we had to travel 150 kilometres every time to go racing. And that took up a lot of my father’s time and money.

How did it feel moving to Italy as a 13-year-old?
I’d run out of competition in Poland, and at the time the Italian championship was the toughest kart series out there. We wanted to find out if I could hold my own against the best drivers in Europe. A few other Polish drivers had tried to do the same thing in previous years, but never made it into the final race for the top 20. That was our aim. But then I took pole position and finished second in two races first time out. For both me and my father, that provided important confirmation that we had done the right thing. Things were going well, but there were also very bad times – when my dad ran out of money. Although we were reasonably well off by Polish standards in 1998, that didn’t mean a great deal outside the country. Today, average earnings in Germany and Italy are still six or seven times higher than in Poland. We’d got to the point where we only had enough money for one more race in the European Championship, then I got lucky with the contract from CRG. To start with I lived with the owner’s family, but then moved into a place of my own when I was 16. My parents couldn’t afford to come over very often and in a situation like that you have to learn a lot about life very quickly. You grow up fast. 

What’s the worst experience you’ve endured in your career so far?
That would definitely be when I got injured as a passenger in that car accident. My arm was so badly damaged that everybody thought I’d be out for six months. That was later reduced to three months, and in the end it was only a month and ten days later that I was driving – and winning – my first Formula 3 race. I just wanted to get back into a car as quickly as possible. The crash happened in Poland, but I was taken to Italy for treatment. I’m very grateful to the doctors there, they looked after me amazingly well. 

And what has been the best moment?
That was probably that Formula 3 race at the Norisring after the accident. I only had about 70 percent use of the injured arm and needed the other one to change gear with. There aren’t any fast corners at the Norisring, which helped of course. But that win in the Euro Series was just fantastic for me.

Was it your aim to make it into Formula One?
Formula One was certainly a dream, but I hadn’t really identified it as a goal. My aims were rather more realistic. You need a certain amount of luck to get into F1, especially if you don’t have any money. And I was given my big break when Mario Theissen called and offered me the job as test driver in December 2005. 

You are 1.84 metres tall – does that cause problems in the car?
The cockpit of the F1.06 was designed for smaller drivers and that didn’t make things easy for me. I would like to have been a few centimetres shorter. Before I could sign the contract, Mario Theissen and Peter Sauber asked me to get into the car so that they could see if it would work. Of course, I did everything I could to squeeze myself in and told them it was a great fit – you just don’t throw away a chance like that. Shortly before the end of the 2006 season I was given a new chassis with a somewhat larger cockpit.

Where would you say your main strengths lie?
In my head. I’m pretty tough mentally. I’ve learnt that at least 50 percent of success is achieved in your head and through your mental preparation.

It is well known you are a big fan of rallying and often visit events on your free weekends. Would you like to compete in rallies?
Of course I would like to do some rallying in the future. Maybe for fun, but it is just a question of when the moment is right and at which point in my career this can happen. At the moment I am concentrating a hundred percent on Formula One. Rallying is a very different sport and watching doesn’t have any influence my Formula One career. If I did go rallying there would be two options – a hundred percent like Formula One, so only dedicating myself to rallying, or as a hobby, and this would be in 20 years. In the early days the Polish media and fans were not that well educated about Formula One and this obviously annoyed you.

Are things better now?
I might have been annoyed, but I understood why we had this problem. Before I started in Formula One there was very little interest in the sport, and I am sure this would be the same in any country. Now it is a fact that the knowledge of Formula One in Poland is a lot higher and if you compare the television audiences of a couple of years ago with those of today, there is an incredible increase. Not only am I very happy to see the knowledge increase, but also the number of fans coming to the races, enjoying the sport and crossing their fingers for me. I also think a sign of just how popular this is can be seen in the number of fans who came to see me in Warsaw in the BMW Sauber F1 Team Pit Lane Park.

As the Pit Lane Park was so popular, do you think there will be a Polish Grand Prix one day?
Possibly, but I think it will be at the point when I am no longer driving in Formula One. As we can see with all the new races that are appearing on the calendar, it takes a long time to get everything right for a grand prix, but I do believe that everything is possible.

We never see photographs of you going to social events away from the races. What do you enjoy doing when you are not racing?
I like to stay at home to prepare for the next races and just spend some time in peaceful and quiet conditions. I also like to watch rallies in person or play rally games on my computer. When I am with my friends we also sometimes play poker. I am competitive at this, but like everybody sometimes I win and sometimes I lose.

What do you expect driving an F1 car is going to be like next year with the regulation changes?
For me it is simple: it will more or less be the same as now. We shall all adapt quite easily, as this is our job, and the quickest driver will win. I think all the speculation now will be a bit like the fuss over the change in tyres. Some of us like me had to make more changes than others for the characteristics of the Bridgestone tyres, but it was no big deal. With the new regulations we will have to be a bit more gentle on the throttle and smoother. I am sure there will be more drivers making mistakes and going off as a result, especially in the rain. In these conditions we will most likely have to have a different approach and I think a race in conditions like we had in Fuji would be impossible.

What advice would you give, not only to young Polish racing drivers, but to any who want to make their way into Formula One?
You need to practise and test a lot. Never give up, push for what you want, as certainly in all careers there will be difficult moments. I think it is also important to look at motor sport in general and realise that Formula One is not the only category where you can enjoy a professional career. You can always have Formula One as your dream, but sometimes aiming a bit lower is no bad thing, because if you only think about being in Formula One you can miss other very good opportunities.

When asked for your sporting hero why did you say the snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan?
After watching him in action I felt he was a great champion. I know there are people who are of the opinion that snooker is not a sport. I disagree as I believe it is a very tough sport. I think what the players do with their cues is incredible, as is the coordination and mental concentration that is needed by them. I expect most drivers would pick someone from motor racing, but for me there are lots of great heroes out there from many different sports.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 13:14
 

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