Robert Kubica tests DTM Mercedes
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Jan 2013   |  6:14 pm GMT  |  101 comments

Robert Kubica, the former F1 driver who is recuperating from a partially severed arm, today tested a Mercedes from the German Touring Car series DTM, in Valencia.

The 28 year old Pole, who was badly hurt in a rally accident almost two years ago, covered 114 laps, or 456.570 kilometres today.

Kubica has said that it is too early to talk about a return to F1 competition, but he has taken part in some rallies and is gradually stepping up the intensity and level of his driving activities.

Today he experienced downforce again – although nothing like the levels and loadings in F1 – and it will have given him a better idea of where he stands.

One of the fastest and most intelligent drivers to pass through F1 in recent years, if he begins to show signs that he can match his former levels of performance it will put many people on alert, but controlling an F1 car is a long way off a DTM car,

“My first day of testing in a DTM car was great fun and I learned a lot about the series and the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, ” said Kubica.

“It was a good experience, getting to know the car in different weather conditions. I was able to get to grips with the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé and felt very comfortable in the car, even though after my long break it meant adjusting to the high downforce that a state-of-the art DTM race car produces.

“I’m very pleased with my performance on this first day of DTM testing and had no problems whatsoever in the car.”

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Dose him up on painkillers and he’ll by right. That’s the motoGP way at least! Mike Hailwood and Mick Doohan carried some pretty serious injuries on the road to some pretty amazing achievements in the sport.


he only had himself to blame for the situation he is in. He simply pushed too hard in rally and caused such horrific accident. Like Kimi had experienced, in rally you don’t have run off area.

Nevertheless, i like his optimistic mode. He keeps trying to comeback to motorsports.

Good luck



Whatever the back and forth speculation on whether RK will ever be capable of returning to F1, he’s a true and characterful man of the sport he and we love. It’s not all about winning championships, it’s also about beating your own handicap, about versatility, conduct and keeping the passion. Men and women true to their sport should not be perceived as mobile advertising billboards, but as sports icons, role models to us all – in the end it’s those values that count. Niki Lauda, Alex Zanardi, Stirling Moss, for diverse reasons all exemplify enviable unlimited strength and commitment. In today’s commercial world Vettel is of higher value than Moss or Fangio ever were. But who proved more and was the better driver? Who drove ALL cars competitevely? True, we will never know the ultimate best. But it’s a lion-heart that takes commitment and fighting all odds. Most are fortunate not to experience the challenge of suffering and fighting to come back. By the same token, a real driver is one who can compete equally well on the track and in rallying, or in the Mille Miglia. Hats off to Robert, a genuine petrolhead and not just a one-trick pansy. And major respect to Renault, who allowed him to contest rallies during his F1 contract, regardless of the outcome, but true to the spirit of motorsport and in disdain of profit potentially lost.


Wonder if the biggest barrier to Kubica coming back is something silly like the finger dexterity needed to adjust all the buttons on the steering wheel versus the outright ability to turn the wheel and drive the crap out of a car. If that’s the case, sad.


I heard somewhere that the issue with his arm not functioning properly was the difficulty he would have in extracting himself from the car quickly in the event of a crash. Or rather not being able to pass the FIA test that pertains to this. I suppose there are lots of issues and I am skeptical he will return but I do wish him well.


My gut feeling is he won’t make it back to f1. I hope I’m wrong but I can’t see it. It was going to happen this season or never. He doesn’t look anywhere near f1. Can’t rotate his forearm after all this time and all those operations.

Happy for you to prove me wrong Robert.


Good to see him back on circuit, and evidently still well and truly on the pace.

Having said that, I must confess I feel his chances of making a comeback to Formula One have more or less gone now. My understanding is that it is nerve damage limiting his mobility, rather than any issues relating to muscle strength, which is the root cause of his problems insofar as returning to single seaters is concerned. Given that it is now two years since the accident, and the surgery he has undergone since then, that is a concern. He seems to have regained the remainder of his nerve function, so while I am no doctor by any stretch of the imagination I fear that what he is left with may be somewhat more permanent. I very much hope I am wrong, as it would be fantastic to see him back on the F1 grid again. But it is starting to look like one of those where what hasn’t returned by now isn’t going to return.


hamilton/kubica. toto can make it. team to match ferrari’s alonso/vettel.


Kubica is far and away my favorite driver. Even if he just does DTM then I will be happy and will follow his results there but i would love to see him back in F1, preferably in a Ferrari!


Hi James,

My first post of the year! I read A Benson saying he heard that Kubiica was quicker than Garry Pfafert. Do you have any information about the timings of those laps.


Just testing, Robert was just going as fast as he could, Garry would probably be testing the car in several configurations, they are allowed some airo setting changes.


Kubica is such a great guy.

Whatever level of motorsport he manages to return to, he will have my full support.

I hope he does DTM this year. I see Glock has signed for BMW too!


This is a certain Mr Wolf’s Mercedes DTM outfit, yes? The same Mr Wolf who is now involved in Mercedes F1? Anyone thinking Nico Rosberg might be watching his results and wondering if his seat might be at risk from Robert if he doesn’t perform.

I’d love to see him back in the top tier of motorsport.


Possibly … didn’t even think of that.


I see Timo got the bmw drive, good for him. Ted Kravitz says he basically saved Marushia by accepting that they could not keep him, and not insisting on the contract being played out. I hope they do an art car this year.


Just imagine him in last year’s Lotus…


Definitely a championship challenger


Robert is committed to the driving.

There is a gasoline circulating in his body instead of blood.

He will be back to F1 sooner or later.

Best regards.


Congrats to Kubica for achieving such promising results with DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé! These are indeed very good news. Despite the accident it looks like things are going well for Robert. Slowly but surely he’s recovering and taking his time to make sure it is properly accompanied by gradually testing different cars in various race/track characteristics. He’s clearly still got the speed and his commitment to coming back to competitive racing seems to be greater than ever. With time he’ll be only improving his overall physical condition as well as getting used to professional driving back again. His long-awaited and truly hard-earned Formula 1 comeback is now realistically appearing on the horizon.

Hats off to Kubica!


Funny how nobody ever seems to mention his pass on Lewis in Interlagos, seconds before Lewis passed Glock, Kubica got past Lewis, and mysteriously hit him, almost wrecking his Championship. Clearly he felt very threatened by Lewis, he got beaten him in lower formulae.

Luckily he failed to take Lewis out and luckily Lewis went on to win the WDC, but for me, Kubica’s troubles are down to Karma. For this alone I do not like him and do not miss him.


I agree with you aplomb and I’m glad you brought it up!

I always thought that Kubica’s move on Hamilton during that last lap pass at the 2008 Brazilian GP was intentional, and a shot at knocking Lewis out of 5th place, thus ruining Hamilton’s final attempt at the World Championship.

It was done at, relatively, low speed and looked, a bit too, obvious. Secondly your Karma analysis I find very interesting, as from my view Kubica and Hamilton appear to be polar opposites–Hamilton a little on the colorful, swaggering side of things and Kubica a little conservative and square.


I would never say what happened to Kubica was karma … that’s just dumb. But I agree that he did drive erratically at points in that Brazilian GP when Hamilton was in close quarters to him.

Simao, the difference in passes is that the passee in Kubica’s case (Sutil) didn’t push it … he could’ve kept his nose in and caused a collision, but he didn’t. Webber wasn’t giving up that position come hell or high water, and he was lucky that he incurred little to no damage out of the collision, while Hamilton was out.

It’s silly to say he was a match to Hamilton’s McLaren though. 14 wins to 1 in their years together speaks to that. If anything, he should thank Hamilton for running into Kimi in the Montreal pitlane, which paved the way for his sole win.


Hamtons words on Kubicas driving ethics.

Undertaking yourself is not a crime. Lewis pulled the same move on Vettel (a championship contender as you put in your post) in the 2012 season. What’s the problem? Hardly a reason to dislike a driver is it?


Aplomb your English needs to be a bit better either that or you need to see a psychiatrist.


Needless to say you are Kubica hater which is plain to see. Isn’t Hamilton well known for acting on track exactly the way you accused Kubica of? Kubica has always driven his car in the gentleman’s manner unlike Hamilton, Vettel or Schumacher. There are plenty of examples proving this, just watch F1 2010 season Singapore race when he overtakes his opponent smoothly on the outside on the very same corner where Hamilton crashed at Webber being a result of his reckless overtaking,to prove your allegations a total rubbish!

Still, something tells me it would even get close to persuade you from such arrogant and evil-minded comments against unfortunate Kubica… So you claim his troubles are down to Karma”?.. Good God, get a grip man and stop hating. Both Hamilton and Kubica are great drivers, pity though, Kubica never drove a car as competetive a as Hamilton did. Even in inferior Renault, he was a match to Hamilton’s Mercedes McLaren anytime. That speaks volumes.

Dig it!


Wow…. just, wow.


I am a hopeless dreamer and therefore I say, 2015 F1 WDC = Kubica…? Now wouldn’t that be nice…? 😛

Scuderia McLaren

All my energy to you young Robert. If anyone can overcome the injuries sustained, it is you.

My head says an F1 return is highly unlikely. My heart says he can do it. Perhaps some Friday drives for a year with a Williams type team. Frank always loved a fighter. Kubica is the epitome of a fighter if there ever was one.


This is such a good piece of news!

Wouldn’t trying something like GP3 or Le Mans give him a better feel for speed and down force though?


It’s truly good to see RK looking to the future of his racing career after such a big setback. DTM appears to be a very good long term solution realistically, as many issues, most already mentioned above, will likely exclude his return to F1 as a grid filler. He certainly couldn’t be discounted as a tester/development driver. His hand function should be close to right, but may lack strength and endurance under F1 stresses & pressures. His elbow prosthesis restricts pronation and supination, making F1 steering problematic and one good crash could dislodge that elbow and require a prosthesis revision – a certain end to F1 and most likely all racing. Tin-tops give better protection from this (without complete certainty), and he stands to have a decent career of 10+ years.


I wonder how his lap times compare to those of the stablished DTM drivers.


I haven’t seen any times published. I he was within a second or two of the fastest race lap there we would have heard something. It was changeable conditions though.


There is a bit of a difference between Robert Kubica and any young guns in F1 missing out on a race seat. Just look at the onboard video of Monaco 2010 in the yellow Renault. It is one of best quails you could see !

We are not talking about some new driver but a guy that lifted a whole teams performance and fighting with the likes of Ferrari and Mclaren in 2010 just prior his accident . If he makes more progress with his arm & fingers mobility- he should be permitted a test drive with an F1 car .

Don’t forget people – Toto Wolff is Mercedes boss and whilst he appreciates that Robert is someway off. Im sure he would pull all the stops if he feels he is ready- he’s already got him a successful DTM drive- so have faith people most of us want to see him back- imagine the coup

it would be to say you bought him back to f1. He’s a proven quality driver who’s already delivering results in each category.


I wish Kubica all the luck there is. That guy is one mighty racer, it would be great to see him build himself back up to F1 fitness.


Good Luck Robert,

someone like you need to race no matter what the car/class you are one hell of a class driver who will always have a lot of fans, cuz you are the real deal 🙂


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