Williams reserve driver Robert Kubica has confirmed that he was signed to drive for Scuderia Ferrari in 2012.
Kubica, now signed as a third driver for Williams after fighting his way back to Formula 1 in recent years, has given a candid interview to Formula 1. In it, he speaks about his early career, as well as his first F1 career with BMW Sauber & Renault, leading up to his life-changing rallying accident in 2011.
Speaking about the accident, Kubica said that the rally it occurred in, the Rally Andorra, was actually supposed to be his last one as he had signed for a different team for 2012: “The biggest thing was that that rally was actually going to be my last one, as the team I was going to drive for in 2012 wouldn’t have let me rally. Renault allowed me to go do this rally as they felt guilty over me having a lot of car failures. I didn’t actually want to go do that rally, flying to Milan, driving here, driving there, all that effort, but I did do it.”
Asked by Tom Clarkson whether the team was red, Kubica having been linked with the Scuderia throughout 2010, he said: “Yes, it was a red team. This isn’t new, this news had been already published then.” Asked straight out whether it was Ferrari, Kubica replied: “Yes, I don’t know if Fernando [Alonso] knew. I would have been paid less than at Renault.”
Reflecting on the way his life has gone since that moment, he spoke about why he felt the need to go rallying, a dangerous extra-curricular activity that has ended up costing him so much:
“When i was a child, I wasn’t thinking solely about F1 – I just wanted to be the best I can. I was, and still am, a big fan of rallying. I was searching for something outside of F1 that would make me a better driver; finding skills that the other drivers I’d be racing wouldn’t have. I still think that, with the small bit of rallying I did in 2010, I scored more points in F1 than I would have if I hadn’t been rallying – sensitivity, staying going on slicks in wet conditions, small things like that. I paid a big price, and I’m still paying for it. Rallying was not just for fun. The desire to become a better driver and find something the others don’t have, I wasn’t happy to just be at the level I was – I needed more. It gave me that, but I paid too high a price.”
“I haven’t become a Ferrari driver, but I came so close. My recovery was so hard that for the first 18 months, this didn’t hurt because I was concentrating on my injuries and recovery. The more time passes, the more difficult this became. There were hard moments where recovery and surgeries took 100% of me, but I missed Formula 1. Recovery was painful but it was not made more painful by knowing I should have been in the Ferrari. It’s more painful now.”