Robert Kubica went on the F1 podcast this week and revealed that he had a signed a contract to race for Ferrari in 2012 as a teammate to Fernando Alonso. That opens up pandora’s box of “what if.”
Everyone that watches sports has those “what ifs” in their head. Whether it’s “what if Kobe stayed with the Hornets” or “What if the Chargers kept Eli” or “What if Drew Bledsoe doesn’t get hurt” or “What if Jeff Gordon didn’t give Jimmie Johnson that shot.” The butterfly effect to any of those moves is unreal and Formula 1 is no different.
Every year we hear rumors about guys signing contracts or negotiating with other teams. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it remains a rumor we always ponder. Robert Kubica was always one of those guys we heard rumors about. The Pole had crazy speed, a knack for giving phenomenal feedback on the car and being a great teammate. Naturally, every team would love to have him but most teams viewed him as a threat to their #1 driver.
On the podcast, Kubica revealed a few things most fans and even media members didn’t know.
Prior to the 2011 season, he raced in the Ronde di Andora rally and had already signed his deal to race with Ferrari in 2012. Prior to the Andorran rally, he contemplated withdrawing from the event. Ultimately he decided not to because he didn’t want to disappoint the team that helped set up the ride.
Quick life lesson, DON’T BE AFRAID TO HURT SOMEONE’S FEELINGS IF YOU AREN’T COMFORTABLE DOING SOMETHING. He partly raced it as well because he knew his Ferrari contract would not let him rally while he was employed by the Scuderia.
As we all know Kubica participated in the rally and what happened during that event derailed his F1 career for nearly a decade. A guardrail would penetrate the car absolutely destroying his arm and sidelining him from F1 action.
Kubica had this to say about his injury, recovery, and Ferrari:
“My recovery was so hard that for the first 16-18 months it did not hurt,” said Kubica.
“I was fighting, I was concentrating on recovery, I was going through a difficult period.
“The more time was going the more difficult it was becoming, because the hope that things can get sorted are disappearing.
“There were moments I was recovering extraordinarily good and there were then months when surgeries went wrong and I went back six months instead of improving.
“It was painful [not racing in F1] but it was not more painful because I knew I was going to race for Ferrari.”
It’s cool to see him say that he doesn’t regret getting to race for Ferrari, that he’s more bummed his F1 career came to an end. Racing for Ferrari is generally the dream for most drivers and maybe Kubica takes solace in the fact that he was good enough to sign a contract with them. Maybe that alone is enough affirmation that he was, in fact, one of the best.
If Kubica does join Ferrari in 2012 and partner Fernando Alonso there’s no saying what he could have accomplished. Fernando finished on the podium 13 times that season and lost the championship by 3 points. Felipe Massa only managed to podium once in 2012, the idea that Kubica could have done better is not a crazy thought.
Damn. Robert Kubica could have gone head to head with Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. That’s what we as fans missed out on and it’s a huge bummer. It’s great to see Ferrari recognized the talent within Kubica but a bummer that the incident happened. Kubica wants to be on the grid in 2018 and if daddy Stroll buys Force India the Williams seat could be open.
Robert Kubica hasn’t competed in an F1 race since Abu Dhabi in 2010, if he returns in 2019 it will be one of the most remarkable comeback stories ever. Bob has the talent and we need to see if he can still do it, Canada 2008 was great but there’s more in the tank.
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