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Ferrari considered signing Kubica but now doubt whether the Pole will return to F1
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Kubica XPB
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Oct 2013   |  2:37 pm GMT  |  113 comments

Team principal Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari considered signing Polish driver Robert Kubica but now doubts whether the 28 year old will be able to return to Formula 1 following injuries sustained in a rally crash.

Kubica was set to drive for Renault in 2011 when he suffered injuries in a rallying accident. He has since returned to driving, competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC). The Pole leads the WRC2 standings, the second tier in the WRC, and will take part in Wales Rally GB next month.

But despite saying earlier this year that he is keen for a return to Formula 1, Kubica still does not have the movement in his arm which is required to compete single-seaters.

Speaking in an interview on the Ferrari website, Domenicali said: “Yes, we were keeping an eye on him. Unfortunately, I don’t think he will be back, because with his physical problem, he would struggle in certain limited situations which require reactivity. It’s a shame.”

Domenicali also discussed Fernando Alonso’s recent criticism of the team. Alonso voiced his concerns about the team after his title challenge fell away but was publically rebuked by Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo.

“If I have something to say to him, as would be the case with my engineers, I would do it behind closed doors and in a harsh manner,” said Domenicali. “But externally, I will always defend the team. When he crossed the line, president Montezemolo intervened and in private. So did I.”

But Domenicali added that the team needed to give Alonso a better car in the future. Alonso is 90 points behind Red Bull’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel with just four races remaining.

Domenicali said: “If in the past four years, we have come close to the title twice, it is partly down to him [Alonso]. Unfortunately, we have not been capable of giving him a car that matches his talent.”

Felipe Massa is leaving the team at the end of the year after eight seasons, with Kimi Raikkonen replacing the Brazilian. Domenicali rejected claims that Massa was never the same driver following his accident in the 2009 Hungarian Grand when he suffered a fractured skull.

“From a medical point of view, there is no proof that the accident left any permanent damage, such as problems with his sight or reflexes,” said Domenicali. “And then there’s the gentility, which would demand that we give a driver who hasn’t had much luck the chance to show he deserves to stay with us.

“If Felipe was unable to deliver the performance we hoped for, it was mainly down to a hyper-sensitivity to a car that was too nervous at the rear, but in 2008, he almost took the title and I consider him as a world champion.

“We took Raikkonen because we wanted more. When we replaced him with Alonso, he was not happy and so he returns with a great desire to do well.”

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113 Comments
  1. Sebee says:

    WHY!?!?!

    Why would you say this Stefano?

    1. BW says:

      Only because he was asked about it during the meeting with some fans.
      It’s available at Ferrari pages.

      1. Sebee says:

        I think it would have been best if Stefano just expressed words of encouragement to Robert, instead of reminding him and the world about opportunities missed. Clearly the guy has enough on his plate last 2 years.

      2. Javier Marcelo says:

        totally agree

      3. BW says:

        He doesn’t need any encouragement, you might be not following it as closely as it is followed in Poland ;)

      4. Sebee says:

        Clearly I’m not. Robert appears of strong character and will, and we know F1 is not everything by any means. But it was his dream, it was taken away. No need to remind him about it.

        Why don’t you update us about Robert as well?

      5. Richard C says:

        Load of rubbish, he’s just staytng fact and quite diplomatically I thought. Blogs and comments are great for discussion but it would be so much better if we stay on topic rather than people just attacking the subjects, how about commenting positively on Robert’s success in rallying and how you hope this translates to his own sense of personal achievement, whether he makes it to F1 again or not. I truly hope he feels as successful.

      6. Javier Marcelo says:

        HE is doing great. At the momemt he is leading WRC2 with 2 rounds left. And Citroen has offer him to race with a WRC in next GB rally. With all best drivers. I saw him this year in CAnarian ISlands RAlly. HE was leader until last thay, when he had an accident. I spect him to do a great job in GB rally.

      7. Sebee says:

        Richard,

        I respect your opinion, but I don’t agree with it.

        If I told you now you could have been in F1, and not only. In fact you could have been in F1 with Ferrari if only that one terrible thing didn’t happen to you there isn’t a chance that seed and clarity to what your life could have been might have psychological impact on you now or in the near future?

        It may have been diplomatic, but it was not necessary and not appropriate. It’s pure speculation that offers no benefit to Robert whatsoever, to his fans, to us, to anyone really. This quote was picked up and reported everywhere and again makes no difference except to remind us and Robert what could have been. I ask again, why? No good comes from stating this.

        And really, doesn’t Stefano have real problems to worry about than to rub possible different realities that may have happened but never will into someone’s face?

        So based on those point that Stefano should focus on something else, and that no real good can come from his statement about Robert he should have been more tactful and delicate and not simply diplomatic.

      8. Richard says:

        Sebee – I totally disagree, you’re supposing in all your arguments that this news is a shock to Robert. Like I said, load of rubbish, this is just Stefano coming clean to then public and press that Ferrari were indeed looking at him as he’s such a great driver, and then stating fact about his current situation. Robert will have been in contact with Ferrari people many times, and it surely isn’t anything new to him to hear something like this. Not really sure what you think he should’ve said in response to press questions like that!

      9. Sebee says:

        Richard,

        I’m not saying Robert is unaware or shocked. What I’m saying is that Stefano’s statements remove doubt about what his life road could have looked like should Robert have been able to travel it. And F1 @ Ferrari is one heck of a road we can agree. Remember Robert has moved to Italy and dedicated his life to racing. Surely Ferrari and F1 was the goal, the dream. Javier Marcelo below also points out that such strong statement from Ferrari may shut down interest in Robert from other teams/sponsors on the F1 grid, which is an interesting point as well.

        I don’t know how better to explain this to you except to give you an example. When asked about Kubica, Stefano could have said what he said, or he could have said, “As you know Ferrari have offered some help to Robert by making our simulator available to him. He has been taking on the challange in exemplary way and we wish him continued progress.”

        If pressed he could have said “Our driver lineup is confirmed for next 2 years and it’s pointless to speculate.

        There. Would that have been so hard? Tactful. Delicate. And still diplomatic.

    2. Fan says:

      Because its true. Its partly the car, but it is partly Alonso poor form and bad team stategy (which Stefano does not mention). It’s very easy to play the what-if game, but earlier in the season I conservatively estimated that somewhere between 31 and 53 points left on the table by ALO and Ferrari.

      In Malaysia Alonso ran into the back of Vettel while in second place. Driver error compounded by sill call not to pit resulted in a DNF. In Bahrain ALO had to make a extra pit stop because he used DRS when he was told not to. In Monaco Alonso was MIA and looked to be out of it all weekend and was passed on track by Button, Perez and Sutil on a track where no one passes. Ferrari bungled the strategy in Germany by opting to qualify on the medium tire which they then could not make last in the race. Alonso has being regularly out qualified by Massa this season which is the best indication that he is not getting the maximum from the car.

      There are other examples, but I’m sure this line of thinking probably led to Raikkonen being brought in. ALO is underperforming. I think the reason RBR looks so good, is because the competition has been so bad.

      1. John Gibson says:

        Qualifying is 9 to 6 in Alonso’s favour.

      2. KARTRACE says:

        Even if you are right, which I disagree, Alonso would be trailing Seb some 50+ points, which is a lot. Usually “ifs” are not good indicators of anything. F138 was never at the level of RBR Challenger.

      3. Fan says:

        I never said that they would be in a position to win the WDC, just that it there is no reason for the WDC to be such a blowout had Ferrari taken advantage of the opportunities it had – like they did in 2012. That said 50 extra WCC points would be a godsend for Ferrari right now as they are coming under a lot of pressure from Merc for the #2 WCC position.

        Don’t be so blind in your allegiance to ALO that you can’t see that he is not performing well this year. Many others have wrote about this and come to the same conclusion. Ferrari themselves are now saying it aloud. Alonso himself has said he needs to do better.

      4. Rachael says:

        “Usually “ifs” are not good indicators of anything”.

        This may the popular view, but I beg to differ. Life is absolutely full of sliding door moments, and “what if’s”. You can’t just assume that every outcome in life is pre-determined.

        The history of F1 is absolutely littered with “what if’s”. There have been a few times when one driver has dominated a season & won easily, but so many times when the championship could have gone either way, but has been decided by a few points.

        Nothing is pre-destined. Do not underestimate, just how many times that people’s lives have been influenced by small things.

        Robert Kubica’s life is but one case in point!

      5. Yago says:

        For Fan Alonso is underperforming… compared to 2012!! Which is true by the way. What Fun seem not to understand is 2012 was probably the best performance by any driver over a season in the history of F1!

        Of course Alonso has left points under the table, so has Vettel. Not to mention Hamilton. But for me Hamilton has had an amazing year. You have to take into account the car and situation the drivers are. And also their teammate strengths. It is not easy to make errors if you have that Red Bull. I think some people seem not to understand what F1 is about.

        And as many other people here, Fun is understimating Felipe Massa. If that guy is confident with the car, which he is this year, he can outqualify any driver in the grid. Just ask Kimi…

        But yes, I agree Alonso is not performing to 2012 levels. What a surprise…

      6. Yago says:

        @Fan
        No, ferrari have never said Alonso has not performed well this year. Quite the other way around. People hear what they want to hear.

        And another thing. You surely don’t know but Alonso had to change kers system for the race at Suzuka… That’s only for if you are one of those saying he is making excuses all the time…

      7. KARTRACE says:

        @ Rachael “Ifs” are only good for time travelers.

      8. KARTRACE says:

        “If” F138 was anyway near as good as this year RBR RB9 we would be having a different picture in F1 2013 all together.

      9. KARTRACE says:

        And yes, statement like “regularly out qualified by Massa” has no support in real life. Two or three times out of so many GP in 2013 is a far fetched statement. Seb and RBR are at their best. To beat them you need equal combination a SF which F138 is anything but equal.

      10. f1_fan says:

        I don’t think you are right in saying alonso used DRS in bahrain against team’s decision, i don’t think it was ever mentioned by ferrari or alonso, so one would have to assume team OKed him to use it. In monaco ferrari was strugling whole week end for traction, he was trying hard to keep up but lost places, i wouldn’t attribute it totally to him. And now you are drawing conclusions based on wrong assumptions, i cannot take it serious.

      11. Sebee says:

        I’m talking about Kubica.

      12. Rod says:

        Alonso underperforming? That makes no sense. He’s been in the points in every race except Malaysia, and is second in the championship in a car that has no business being higher than the Lotus and Mercedes. He should not be higher than 7 this year. Also, when driving at the limit, there will be more mistakes.

      13. Javier Marcelo says:

        Not bad for a second driver….

        …in the standings, with the fourth car!!!

      14. clyde says:

        Alonso underperforming ????
        Are ypu watching the same races that we are?

      15. Erik says:

        Looks like Ferrari is back to the same level as in the early 90′s. A team that looks great from afar with superstar drivers but get close enough and you catch a glimpse of it’s ugly political underbelly. This team has once angain become the place where superstar drivers go to squander their careers, like Prost, Mansel, Alesi, etc. Shame that the lessons from the Schumacher era have been forgotten so quickly.

      16. VSI says:

        Hear hear…!

      17. Dave says:

        Agreed!

      18. Richard says:

        Eh?

      19. Javier Marcelo says:

        Malasia, Bahrein, Monaco and Germany lossed points his fault? You read the reality from a great distance, mate.

        IN Malasia the team did a horrible Job not pitting him inmediatly. what you said of Bahrein is in your mind. Monaco did not fit to Ferrari this year at all and, Germany, where even recognising it was not his fault, you put it in the list.

        You don’t mention any of his great starts this year, gaining 22 positions in total, risking the race in every one. Didnt you enjoy them? It must be the only one. He only crashed in Malasia, but not to be out of the race, what was team’s foult.

    3. Phil R says:

      Which bit? It’s all true!

    4. Lee says:

      Because it’s an honest assessment of the situation that’s why?

    5. Tomcat173 says:

      Isnt it a good thing that, for once, someone in F1 is talking about what happens in a team in an unfiltered way?

      Alot of people respect Webber for articulating the obvious, or Kimi doing what he does – good on Domenicali for talking straight!

  2. fox says:

    sad about Robert:(
    he [Kimi] returns to do revenge? mostly to earn money.

    1. Sri says:

      which would be revenge anyway: taking the money from a team that paid you handsomely not to drive in the past.

      1. C Lin says:

        Haha good point.

    2. Sebee says:

      One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.
      One mans’ misfortune is another man’s opportunity.

      Deep stuff. Could it be said that Kimi is doing what Robert pretty much would be doing? 2 years at Lotus, then Ferrari?

    3. Mark V says:

      When Kimi said Lotus owes him money, many assumed that he is going to Ferrari strictly for the money. A rather simplistic conclusion IMO. In ANY job, if an employer struggles to pay their employees that is a definite sign that the company is not performing as well as it should. In F1 that comes down to one thing: not winning.

      Going to Ferrari is a win-win situation for Raikkonen. He goes to a team that has the cash to compete with Red Bull, and yes, by taking him back he also gets his revenge by making them eat humble pie.

  3. Kenneth M'Boy says:

    If Ferrari want to win a world title soon then this guy needs to be replaced with Flavio Briatore. They need a win at all costs attitude and this has been lacking since the end of the Schumacher era. Ferrari are going backwards and they are about to give two great drivers a dud car. Wouldn’t be surprised to see one of them walk halfway through next year. McLaren will be calling and possibly Red Bull if Ricciardo is a failure. I don’t think he will be but strange things happen when talented drivers get into top teams, ie Frentzen, Kovalainen, Herbert, Perez.

    1. fox says:

      you rock \m/
      Stefano -> Flavio and titles are back to reds.
      and Fernando will fly again.

  4. Valentino from montreal says:

    Funny that there’s a Kubica article this morning as I thought about him yesterday ! He really was unlucky with his accident a few years ago , it derailed his F1 career …

    In my Schumacher scrap-book where I keep all of my news-paper clippings , I still got the article of a French newspaper of the day after Schumacher announced his retirement at Monza 2006 …

    In said article there’s a picture of the 3 podium finishers:

    Schumacher , Raikkonen and Kubica …

    The article finishes off along these lines :

    “And as the Greatest driver and most successful in the sport’s history announced his retirement at Monza yesterday , a new Star has made his mark with his first podium in only his 3rd Formula-One race … Coincidence ?
    While the sports most decorated driver steps down of his throne at the end if the season , Kubica could well indeed be his successor ” ….

    1. Javier Marcelo says:

      Unlucky? have you seen the car after the accident?

      The roadside billboard entered in front of the car and went out behind, between the two guys.

      A blody miracle !!!

      The second one for Robert if you remember the one with BMW in 2009

  5. Petronas says:

    It remains… to be seen!
    Prancing Horse is not the only one ;)
    Brackley, Enstone, etc… :)

    1. Javier Marcelo says:

      enstone wouldnt be a surprise. Will see. i hoop so.

  6. goferet says:

    So Ferrari were keeping an eye on Kubica, I guess then this would explain why the team were holding onto Massa despite the criticism from the Tifosi.

    Poor Kubica, it wouldn’t have hurt if he was a no-hoper-backmarker but for someone with so much potential to have this bad luck is just a crying shame.

    But oh well, at least the bloke is still able to get behind the wheel and participate in his passion.

    Now look what destiny has thrown on the the team’s plate, forced their hand to hire another champion something they hadn’t done in 50 years >>> Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t.

    As for Alonso, I guess it’s only fair that he takes part of the blame for not helping the team develop a world beater these past couple of seasons for partnerships are always a two way street.

    Regards Massa, it’s interesting that at Maranelo, he’s regarded a champion, it seems the team have never forgotten Singapore 2008.

    But one thing Domencalli should realize is most accidents (just like wars) mainly affect individuals mental capability and so someone may not have any physical injuries but if the mind is destroyed and so is the body.

    In Massa’s case, he lost some of his confidence after the accident plus with a new family back home, this makes a driver more cautious.

    1. Sebee says:

      Ferrari never had 2 WDCs driving?

      1. goferet says:

        @ Sebee

        Yes Ferrari had two champions in 1953 when Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina worked together.

      2. Sebee says:

        Interesting.

        So basically by any definition of modern era, if you wish to even dip into the 70s, they never had two WDCs. I knew I was already going to enjoy that pairing, but now another point on the enjoyment side.

        What do you think of the Nico/Lewis pairing? There was chance for all kinds of drama and in 2012 after the announcement this was the pair to watch. It really has not produced any drama or issues. I don’t even think I rate them too far apart. Nico is certianly not far behind Lewis, and there are too-many “what ifs” in my view to have a definitive judgement at this point. I think Lewis has a slight advantage over Nico, but it’s certainly not enough to declare Nico beaten. Am I off in my view?

      3. Rachael says:

        In 1953 Ferrari fielded cars for Ascari and Farina. This was the only season when Ferrari ever had two drivers champions in Ferrari’s at the same time.

        (Note: this was time Ferrari used to run five cars at most races).

    2. Wade Parmino says:

      Kubica was foolish. When you are a full time Formula 1 driver, you do not risk the best job on earth for a bit of fun in a stupid rally car (or snowmobile). If his injury was sustained in an F1 car, then you could say it was bad luck. Rallying is the most uncontrollable, unpredictable (in a safety sense) and hazardous form of motorsport; more so than even the bikes or Indy. Low grip surfaces plus trees and ditches (and spectators) meters away equals DANGER.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        Totally agree.

    3. Xman says:

      Massas confidence in the team was shot after the German GP 2010.

    4. Yago says:

      How exactly did you get to the conclusion Massa is more cautious now?? Sorry but if accidents and family make drivers more cautious, then that theory absolutely fails for Felipe Massa.

  7. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    “Unfortunately, we have not been capable of giving him a car that matches his talent.”

    But Stefano, it’s a Ferrari, you cannot say this!

    Surely a sackable offence, or at least a public ticking off from di Monty, to distract from the dog of a car and the backwards in-season development, again.

    1. KARTRACE says:

      +100

    2. Peldo says:

      I also think that Ferrari is not on top of their game. With the resources they could build a winning team but I suspect they have some loyalty integrated into the personnel. While it is admirable it is not winning way. You need to be ruthless with aggressive hiring when needed. Built tools that is needed. It is laughable that a team like Ferrari excuses on their wind tunnel problems. If it’s the bottle neck you fix it. It does not take 4 seasons. But I suspect they don’t have best people there anymore. RB knew who is needed and they grabbed the correct people. Now merc is building the imperium and I suspect next year is big chance they are on top. McL are rebuilding after falling into brain leakage. 2016 they start showing again. So Ferrari its your call to get to the top. It is matter of commitment. No excuses. Drivers they have but how about rest. Is Allison changing the game? I doubt it is enough.

  8. Andrew M says:

    Unfortunately, this story was written when he had his accident. There were stories and expert opinion on this very site about how it would be nothing short of a medical miracle for him to return to F1 racing, and they have proven to be true.

    We’ll all remember the good times, especially 2008, but unfortunately it looks like Kubica will join the list of drivers whose careers never reached their full potential. F1 is poorer for it.

  9. EA says:

    I always knew Kubica was in line for the Ferrari seat.

    Alonso is about ready on his way out of Ferrari. They will have Vettel, who brings the prestige of 4 championships, out of which about 3 of them were almost gifted by Ferrari.

    The question is, what solid technical personnel can alonso bring (or have) wherever he goes? Mclaren is a good team which usually struggle more with reliability than with showing up with a fast car. Mercedes has too many “bosses”…. Lotus will be a tough call. And Red Bull is only a good environment because they are 2-3secs faster than the next guy…

    If Mclaren-Honda can provide a solid team… i guess that would be the best option.

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      The McLaren-Honda combo in the 80′s was phenomenal however I think people might be hyping the new partnership up a bit too much. Besides, without Marlboro (or Senna & Prost) it just won’t be the same.

    2. H.Guderian says:

      AGAIN (I’m sorry)

      Do you really think VET will leave RBR (Newey, Horner, etc, etc) to go to Ferrari with LdM and DOM???

      Would *YOU* do that???

      Also “prestige” is useless when we are talking about winning races. One think Ferrari does not need is prestige.

      1. EA says:

        Of course he would. Why not?

        What makes you say for sure Newey will still be around for X ammount of years. What does Horner offe, that many other team principals do not? In fact…. the other team principals seem to have way more control over the team itself than Horner does.

        Prestige means… If Vettel joins Ferrari with 4 championships, and manages to win even just 1 or 2 more, they’ll definitely be pushing to call him “one the greatest ever”…. and since he would be driving for Ferrari, it means the two “best drivers ever” are Ferrari drivers…

        In other words: the best drivers in the world, ever… drive for Ferrari. That’s a pretty prestigious thing to be able to say, it lures the coming best drivers, it lures investors, etc…

        Vettel is also hoping to silence those boo’s. They don’t look good on his resume. ;)

        In any case… I don’t think Vettel is the best TODAY, let alone ever…

  10. Delgado says:

    Its too early to write off Kubica’s chances of returning. Should he step up to WRC next season a certain Finn could well be left looking rather embarrassed when it comes
    to the more complete driving art.

  11. JB says:

    It is funny that Alonso never complaint about the crappy Renault back in 2008-2009. Now he complaints about the ‘great’ Ferrari team.

    I hope Raikkonen beat the crap out of Alonso next year. LOL

  12. Rob Newman says:

    Kubica is a fantastic driver. But if I remember correctly, when Vettel was test driver for BMW, he used to beat the more experienced Kubica during Friday practice sessions.

    1. Andrew M says:

      That doesn’t really mean anything, because the Friday drivers had their engines turned up and were on totally different programmes. De La Rosa often used to be much faster than Kimi and Montoya for example.

      1. Yago says:

        Interesting. Thanks.

    2. guest_z says:

      Yeah… when Robert was a test driver for the same BMW he used to beat Schumacher and all the top drivers additionally during Friday practice sessions. Not only Kubica was such a hero. Once or twice it was Davidson or Wurtz, both test drivers then, of course. Any conclusions considering Vettel’s Fidays performance as a test driver?

    3. Yago says:

      Yes, and Kubica also had really tough times against Nick Heidfeld too. So what?

  13. Anil says:

    Such a shame for Kubica, the guy had bags of talent. His qualifying performances in 2010 at tracks like Spa, Suzuka and Monaco said it all. Poor guy, he deserved better.

  14. Chris NZ says:

    Robert should stay in the WRC. Love to see him with a full time drive in 2014, and a possible title shot in 2015.

    Robert hasnt lost any confidence since his rally crash.

  15. Steve Zodiac says:

    Italians are too emotional, never be able to run a team effectively. Not too many Italian drivers for the same reason. This is also the reason that they make such beautiful cars and other things. Unfortunately being beautiful doesn’t always mean things work well

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Why is it that people get away with saying things like this. If something like this was said about a non-white people, there would be absolute hell to pay. But people can say “Italians are too emotional” or “Germans are too emotionless” without anyone caring much at all. These are [mod] stereotypes.

      I will indulge your premise for a moment. Lamborgini is Italian and these cars are some of the ugliest things ever to be attached to four wheels. The very first F1 Champion was Italian (Nino Farina) who one the championship in an Italian car for an Italian team run by Italians.

      Think about what you say.

      1. Yago says:

        Very well put (and I’m not Italian). Don’t agree on Lamborgini though xD

      2. Manuel says:

        Thanks Wade.

        I’m not italian but I also dislike this kind of attitudes.

      3. H.Guderian says:

        Well…..

        When they (Ferrari) had a British management they were VERY successful, right??? (I’M NOT British)

        How can you explain that???

      4. Peldo says:

        I don’t recall Ferrari having full British management ever. They had really multinational management in Schumacher era. It’s not about nationality. It’s talented passionate people with will to win.

      5. Steve Zodiac says:

        Hey just look around you, different races definately have different qualities eg German cars-efficient, reliable but pretty much souless. Italian cars- beautiful(well mostly) interesting and got soul.British-well would be good if we could be arsed! In recent history the Ferrari F1 team has only been good when the Italians,in their wisdom, handed the running to outsiders

      6. Wade Parmino says:

        My point was not only that the stereotype is incorrect but also and more importantly, the fact that such things can be said regarding Italians or Germans or British or French, etc. But, if a comment was made such as “Africans can run fast” or “Jews are excellent with money”, people would lose it and say “that’s racist!”. These comments are hardly negative, on the contrary, they are complimentary. However, these comments reinforce stereotypes which is considered to be bad thing.

        The comments you made about Italians were not intended to be insulting however, these are stereotypical generalizations. All stereotypes are in many cases negative implications disguised as a positive attribute. I was mainly highlighting the apparent fact that racially based stereotypes seem to be OK with most people, so long as it is only European peoples on the receiving end. This is what is very wrong.

  16. Grant H says:

    Would love to see kubica win WRC, such a shame

  17. Javier Marcelo says:

    Unlucky? have you seen the car after the accident?

    The roadside billboard entered in front of the car and went out behind, between the two guys.

    A blody miracle !!!

    The second one for Robert if you remember the one with BMW in F1

    1. rad_g says:

      He also had an arm broken before in a car accident.

    2. Rachael says:

      It was only a car crash. People crash cars all the time, and get away with it.

      Poor Robert. He was freakishly unlucky.

      1. Javier Marcelo says:

        HE is a brave great driver. I only say he was really lucky to survive to the rallie crash.

        I jope him all the best. F1 could make a point adapting one F 1 car for him to compete. BUt we all know f1 never moves for this kind of things.

        IF KImi have become a better driver after a year ralling, he must be better al F1 two.

      2. Javier Marcelo says:

        … in F1 too

  18. Elie says:

    We often get caught up in this lovely sport of motor racing that we forget how dangerous it is. Robert is lucky to be alive and a person in his position if they weren’t religious before such an accident – should be praying every day that he’s still with us.. Perhaps this is testimony to his great courage as a racer. I’m a huge fan of Kubica but during his races as BMW&Renault it did not escape me that he was involved in very serious accidents where he did push beyond the cars limits. I think his ability to drive at or over the edge is the reason he is doing so well in WRC- this favours that kind of style and approach. Whereas F1 is far more precise and measured.We can only dream about what he Raikkonen could have achieved for Lotus these last few years- surely second only to Red Bull or better was a distinct possibility!. Then Alonso/ Kubica maybe Ferrari would be in a much happier place.

    As for Stefano- by saying what he said – hasn’t he actually gone public by telling us he too tweaked Alonsos ear(no surprise).& Isn’t it a bit late for it ??. This is yet another sign of very weak and dis jointed leadership. Stefano comes across as a good bloke very fair and reasonable- but seriously it also highlights why Ferrari keep looking for strong leaders – they just don’t have strong management. It’s almost ironic now they have Allison the dependency on Aero is less with 2014 rules than now- but it just means they will have to work harder to get whatever gain they can. Given how well Lotus’ correlation to its wind tunnel worked Im sure at least this side will improve.

    As for Alonso – as positive an influence on the track as he’s been- how much of a negative influence has he been off the track with all this tweaking??..has the memory of what Vitaly Petrov did to him in Abu Dhabi 2010 really worn off ??- perhaps this is what has driven him since- has it worn off –not real sure. :).

    1. Yago says:

      Driving at the edge is a quality needed when you drive around tracks. You really need to find the limits to succeed. Rallying is about getting close to the limit but not too much, as there are so many variables and incidentals that you can not have under control. Look for example at Kimi at WRC. He was probably the fastest of all them at certain moments, because of his immense talent at driving to the limits of a car (and that is what he is used to on the tracks), but then you are going to have an accident or an incident and are going to loose time. So actually you are going really wrong, as it is the other way around.

      1. Elie says:

        Yago.. F1 driving requires precision driving..You cannot spin / slide wheels , lock brakes much because you loose time and and your tyres are gone. The slightest slide cost you time. In rallying sliding corners can actually make you time, the lines you take are completely different and the approach is in fact like over driving any other circuit car. You need to have done a bit of both rally and circuit racing to really appreciate the difference.

        Another good eg is the movie “Bullit” with Steve McQueen – who was a very accomplished circuit racer. He was more than capable of doing the chase scene– but the movie dictated a lot of sliding and over driving the car for filming.. Because of his circuit racing mindset.. He could not bring himself to being so ..”loose” for the stunt – so they hired a stunt man to do it.

        This is precisely why I tuly believe a fantastic circuit racer- especially a super precise F1 driver will Not be a perfect rally driver and viva versa. This exactly why Kimi needs time for rally and also why I think Kubica is possibly better at rallying – maybe not quite as sharp as Kimi on the track.
        Both brilliant but each 1 ever so slightly more gifted at the other.

      2. Yago says:

        Agree. Maybe it was just a semantic thing. Technics are different at rallying than at the circuits of course. What I just said is that a circuit driver tends to go to the limits of the car, but if you do that in rallying you will have an accident. You have to leave a bit of room for unknowns.

        I think maybe you were confusing sliding and spining with driving to the limit. Normaly if you do that on karts or on a F1 car it is a sign you crossed the limits of the car. At rallying thats a normal thing, nothing to do with going to the limits of a car, its just a technic.

      3. Flying lap says:

        Here is a video of Kubica´s accident in Rally of Andorra.

        http://tu.tv/videos/reconstruction-crash-robert-kubica-rally_8

        And here is the picture of other accident, very similar to his one, were Garet Robert, a co-pilot of Craig Breen, was killed:

        http://rallyast.mforos.com/1227891/10717154-fallece-gareth-roberts-copiloto-de-craig-breen/

        No doubt, a very good luck for Robert and his co-pilot in Andorra 3 years ago.

    2. Javier Marcelo says:

      @Yago. Have you ever raced? If you do it just for fun and get into a private circuit, and then compare it with ralling, no way to your comments. It is extremely risky to race out there compared with a closed and safe circuit. heaven. Kimi has become a better driver after a year racing in hell.

      I’m with Elie.

      1. Yago says:

        You are confusing things. Going to the limits of a car has nothing to do with risk. Going to the limit is doing the best possible time over a lap or over two set control points at rallying.

        Rallying is a lot more dangerous that driving on a circuit, of course. And because of that, and also because of the unknowns you can encounter on the road, you need to be more carefull when you rally than when you are on a circuit. Circuit drivers tend to go too much to the limit when they rally, so they crash or loose time in incidents. When you rally you have to leave a bit of room for unknowns.

        Let’s put it like this: a circuit driver is much closer to the “perfect lap” than a rally driver is to the “perfect” special stage.

      2. Javier Marcelo says:

        That is pure theory. Going to the limit is always, anywere, with any kind of vehicles, being close to loose control. In ralling they go closer to the limit that F1. IF you dont see it, take a car, mate!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Peter Jones says:

    Massa was never the same driver after being ordered to move over a couple of years ago for Alonso in Germany. That incident in my opinion forever altered Massa’s psychological makeup and he never has recovered frankly..

    1. H.Guderian says:

      Nope.
      It was way before.
      It was at the first race of ALO at Ferrari.

    2. JD says:

      If that is the case, then Ferrari were correct in their decision at the time. Like it or not it just proves Massa lacks the mental strength and ruthlessness to be an actual world champion.

    3. Javier Marcelo says:

      There is people to be a second one. Not everyone works. If you have follow other sebastian, Ogier, in ralling, he did not follow Citroen’s orders not to race with Loew… He was fired up for that reason.

      3 years leter he is the word champ and the blody boss. Massa chose the stability of a good salary.

      And lest be serious, he did it time before Alo’s arrival. With Schumi he allready was the “perfect pairing”.

  20. swift pint says:

    James, what do you make of this recent album on Bell racing’s facebook page? Looks like they’ve recently made Kubica an F1 helmet….

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.553127574756012.1073741879.141551212580319&type=1

    1. Javier Marcelo says:

      That is not the kind of helmet they use in ralling…

      +1

  21. Brett Williams says:

    The loss of Robert has been the biggest tragedy in F1 in recent times, his ability to wring the neck of those Saubers & Renaults highlighted his potential. I hope he gets a full-blooded go at the WRC championship next year, however it’s disappointing not to see him behind the wheel in F1…

  22. Roth says:

    I realize comparing drivers is pointless and especially while crossing car versions ,eras, rules etc.

    But why has Lauda and Schumacher been able to waltz into Ferrari when they were arguably rubbish tell them the car sucks and to put their resources and money to make it “A Ferrari!” they say oh ok, do it and lawdyda – domination.

    Yet Alonso does so and they taboo him for being realistic.

    Yes he may be questionable this year but he did put the effort in the previous years and by histories standards he shouldn’t need to be complaining in his 3rd season with Ferrari.

    The whole elitism that clouds Ferrari is rediculous.

    And I am probably the only person that calls Raikkonens move to Ferrari mad. I am actually shocked he is fussing over money in a sport where you make more than you can possibly spend in a lifetime considering F1 Drivers have such thin spare time.

    1. Bart says:

      “The whole elitism that clouds Ferrari is rediculous”
      I am with you on that. This is probably a cultural thing – fans in Italy were furious with Alosno and demanded “action” from Montezemolo, here sometimes you can’t openly criticise, even though you’re right to do so.

      I disagree with you point on Kimi’s move, however – Lotus have seroius problems with money and, as James once wrote, lack heavy firepower, and Raikkonen as very top driver is only interested in winnig. Plus I think everybody likes being paid for what they do…

    2. Rachael says:

      As far as I know, Lauda never criticised the car publicly. To my knowledge, the story didn’t come out until years later, when Niki published his autobiography.

      The story goes that in 1973 he was invited to Fiorano to drive a few laps of the test circuit and meet the Old Man. Niki couldn’t speak Italian at the time, so Ferrari’s son Piero Lardi had to interpret.

      When asked what he thought of the car, Niki called it a disaster. Piero was horrified and said “You can’t say that”. Niki replied, “Why not,? The car understeers and doesn’t corner worth a damn. It’s undrivable.”

      Piero said, “No, you can’t say that either.” So they had to tone down Lauda’s comments.

      Mauro Forghieri was brought in, and it went from there.

    3. Kenneth M'Boy says:

      They did the same to Prost when he called the car a truck. He was sacked before the next race. Those Italians are a bit strange. I feel sorry for Alonso, he deserves to be a three times world champion, if he got that he’d probably be happy to play Ferrari’s ridiculous let lose together attitude.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        Yes.
        And it’s funny that people expect ALO to be patient for four, five, ten years.

      2. Bart says:

        He actually didn’t call it a “truck”. He said after a race that the car felt like “a horible truck” as the shock absorbers were both damaged. They used it as an excuse to axe him. They appaently did it because the was an internal power struggle as FIAT people were gaining more and moe power after Enzo Ferrari’s death in 1988

    4. Zombie says:

      Roth, neither Lauda nor Schumacher ever criticized the team in public. Schumacher, although now “dyed in the wool” Mercedes fan, almost became defensive and agitated when BBC recently asked him about Alonso’s criticism of Ferrari. And his words were what he lived by ” you win as a team and you lose as a team. If you lose, then you owe a part of responsibility for that failure”. Alonso is a terrific driver, but a terrible team player. His “me,myself and mine” attitude can only go so far when you have 5 or 6 drivers on the grid who are as fast as he is.

  23. Matt W says:

    Kubica will never drive in F1 again. It is a sad fact, but it was abundently clear as soon as the full information about his injuries emerged.

    Even if he was racing fit right now, he has been away from the sport for a significant period of time, not many teams can afford to allow a driver to get up to speed for a season and there is a current trend to go for younger drivers who would be cheaper and a better long term investment.

    It is a shame fate intervened.

    1. Javier Marcelo says:

      Never say never.

      In the first post of this estoy Sebee is questioning why Domenicalli made that comment if it was not nessesary.

      Maybe, when they allready decided not to hire him they prefer him to be fired…

      Scary? trying to stop other’s plans with him?

      I don’t think his time is over in F1. There will be more teams interested in him and, with some luck, a new opportunity to race there. Difficult, but definitely it is not the last news we will read of Kubica & F1

  24. Joe says:

    Kubica has definitely been unfortunate but his rally accident could definitely been worse. However, breaking the same leg that he’s broken before. Bit unlucky.

  25. Javier Marcelo says:

    If Robert gets into the top 3 in next week’s GB Rally, Domenicalli and many other people will have to regret. As simple as that.

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