Robert Kubica has admitted that his hopes of returning to Formula One are now ‘nearly impossible’, although he still harbours the “dream” of returning to the top echelon of single-seater racing in the future.
Kubica had been considered one of Formula One’s brightest talents before a life-threatening rally accident in February 2011, which saw the Pole suffer severe damage to his right hand and arm, curtailed his single-seater career.
The 28-year-old has since returned to racing, following a long period of rehabilitation, winning the World Rally Championship’s second division – the WRC2 – in a Citroen this year, and is set to make a one-off appearance in WRC machinery at the season ending Rally GB this month.
Speaking to the BBC, Kubica dismissed the notion of a return to Formula One, stating that while he could test a car, the fact that he could not compete in a race would make the exercise a wasted effort.
“I would be able to drive an F1 car on one or two circuits for testing. But it doesn’t make sense to test for a day if I cannot race.”
Kubica had long been linked with a move to Ferrari during his Formula One career, but last month Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari’s Team Principal admitted that while the Scuderia had followed the 28-year-olds rehabilitation following his accident, they now believed that he would never be fit enough to make a return to the sport.
“It’s clear to see I have limitations,” said Kubica. “I think there is only one person who can judge what I can do behind the steering wheel – and that’s myself.”
“It’s a dream, a target, but for now, it’s very difficult, I would say nearly impossible.”
The Pole, who took his only win to date in Formula One at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix racing for BMW, is clear that he would only ever consider a return to F1 if he was completely ready, insisting that for now his focus is on continuing his rehabilitation and his rallying career.
“I will never take the opportunity if I don’t feel 100% ready. If one day things improve, for sure we will see. For now, I am concentrating on rallying.”
“I focus on my recovery – and rallying is helping me a lot in this,” he said. “I can see a lot of improvement behind the wheel in a rally car.
“Driving on gravel is very demanding. There are lots of movements on the steering wheel which put a lot of stress on my arm and my hand.
“But I know this does not help my biggest limitation, which is driving a single-seater.
“I do not have the power to take control of it, but I will try my best.”
Kubica, who has in recent months completed a number of sessions in Mercedes’ simulator, added that the experience had been an enjoyable one as it had shown the positive steps that he was taking with his rehabilitation.
“It helped me a bit,” he said. “Every time I go there, I see progress on my rehabilitation. It’s positive to see, but what the future will bring, I don’t know.”
The ex-BMW and Renault man explained that for now his future remains unclear, with the option to either continue his career in rallying, or to return to circuit racing, although he did exclude the possibility of that being in a single-seater.
“If I stay in rallying next year, I would like to do a whole season,” he said. “But to do all the rallies in one year is quite a big challenge.
“One option is to come back to circuit racing. For sure, it won’t be single-seaters, but I haven’t got it clear in my mind what I will do.”
Images courtesy of Lotus F1 Team