Portrait of Robert Kubica a pure racer
27 June, 2009
Of last season?s top four Championship contending drivers, all of them are in quite different positions now. Lewis switched places with Jenson, Kimi and Felipe are happy to make into Q3. What about the fourth one? One year ago, during French GP, Robert arrived as the championship leader, with pole position and win a achieved in average car. Until the Chinese GP he was a serious championship contender, this year it is a totally different story.
This year, in Turkey, thanks to Rubens and Kazuki he escaped the No Points Drivers Club, with two points for seventh place. What happened to the guy, who was voted 2008 Driver of the Year?
Highlighting Robert Kubica?s past achievements would be boring; we all know that when in F1, a drivers titles don?t matter at all. Am I right, monsieur Bourdais?
What makes Kubica special? Well, we can have one Iceman that may appear not to care about his image, but unlike Kimi, you won?t find Robert posing with his girlfriend in his mansion and it?s very hard to get something personal out of him. He does not recognize actors on the grid, because he falls asleep in the cinema. He does not read any books or newspapers and finds snooker interesting.
Many people think that with his fluent Italian and love for this country he would be natural at Ferrari. I personally have a few doubts about that. Robert does not care much for team spirit. He does not care in which team he drives, as long as he has a car to drive hard and better still win races with. When asked about Rosberg joining him at BMW in the future, he simply answered that it doesn?t matter if it?s Nick or Nico. It is refreshing that he does not give the politically correct, annoying polite drivel. At the same time he shouldn?t be surprised that Nick didn?t give him his position that would keep his third place in 2008 championship.
One of the main things that brought success to the likes of Michael, Fernando, Mika, Lewis and now Jenson is their ?team player? attitude and involvement with their teams. They were winning as a team, they were losing as a team. Robert is not afraid to complain, and there was a time last season, when he went a little bit too far for some, giving post-race interviews directly blaming BMW team for losing his title hopes. Recollecting the Prost era at Ferrari, it is highly probable that the Maranello management would have reacted in a different manner to the tolerant BMW crew.
Although it is understandable, especially at the time when there was a slim chance of clinching the championship, BMW after Canada moved their entire focus to the 2009 season, ionically to no great avail as we today see the meager results of this decision. Nevertheless, any complaints tell them directly to your boss?s face, not to the media.
Leaving Mr. Hyde aside, Robert has one very important virtue, he is in F1 for racing, and racing only. He knows exactly what he wants, and he knew this since he was a little kid. In critical moments, he is able to leave emotions aside and make cold analysis. Many compare his driving style to Lewis, however Robert is less aggressive and barely makes any mistakes. He has understeer while entering the corners, full throttle while exiting them. Lewis likes oversteer, and does not cut the corners, he goes around them. They both brake late, making use of the engine and both are very good in the rain.
But off-track Robert is totally different to Lewis and, in fact, different to most of the other drivers. Celebrity freak show stuff does not turn him on. You won?t see him on the catwalk in Monaco. You won?t spot his family jumping around him in the pit garage. His girlfriend Edyta is modest, she?s not giving ?I?m proud of my hunny-bunny the racer? interviews. Or any interviews. He believes in God, but does not wear ?I belong to Jesus? t-shirt.
People can say many things about Robert Kubica, but as long it does not refer to his racing, he seriously doesn?t care. In today?s world, when athletes are in the same pedestal as celebrities, it?s refreshing to have someone who knows what is important to him and is able to fully concentrate on the task at hand. Robert is that kind of person. Shades of Gilles Villeneuve…
P.S. In reality, despite the nose, he?s quite cute actually.