Kubica's native fanboys strike again. Here is a translation from Kubica's interview for Przeglad Sportowy.
Cezary Gutowski: You are a driver that always deeply analyse your own situation, do you have any idea how to fix current problems?
Robert Kubica: It's hard to call it a problem. For outside observer, it might look like a huge one, but there are simply things, that you cannot easily overcome. I can try harder and harder, but it won't fix it. I believe that, like in every other sport, when you are newcomer you have to pay for your inexperience. In rallies the cost is extremely big. And I am not even talking about budget - let's clarify, rallies are dangerous sport. If I were a badminton player and started to play tennis, I would send the ball outside the court a couple of times, but would still remain in the match. It's a bit different in rallies.
CG: So what's your goal in rallies?
RK: Definitely, I would like to be more efficient. Besides, I reckon that when I used to have proper experience, as it was in Formula One, I was a very efficient driver and rarely did mistakes. That's what makes me believe that experience is crucial here, the experience that I don't have. This is my second season in rallies, to be honest, and I am competing with the top guys. It's elevating, that I am able not to lose massive ammount of time to them. Even on the surface I had my first drive only 11 months ago. I think time is all I need, every fruit needs time to be ripe.
CG: What would be the biggest issue for you now?
RK: There are very few things from experience in rally A that I could exploit in rally B. Mexico was a totally new thing for me. Surface, characteristics of the stage. Alright, Portugal is similar at times, surface at Sardinia is similar. However the constant changes in traction, like on Saturday in Mexico? There were like seven different surfaces and every was new to me. And that's not easy.
CG: And there is nothing you can do about it during testing?
RK: Testing doesn't help me too much, because I am driving on my own and with my own racing line. After a few rounds, I know the road much better and that's when I beginning to see how easier and safer my driving is. I think that during testing I drive way more aggressively, and much faster than in actual rallies. And I have never crashed during testing (except for Rally Poland where I rolled after my mistake while landing a jump). But in fact, I never had any moments in testing and I am driving much faster and at much higher risk level. I simply know the road, and it becomes like track racing. Therefore, I believe if I had experience and came to rallies for the third or fourth time, it would be much easier. I could be more efficient and drive even faster. It's not only about speed, but also about knowledge what will next corner bring, what traction one could await and how does the SS unfold.
CG: Returning to your comparison - badminton and tennis - so it looks like you were in your second season in tennis and were playing in Grand Chelem.
RK: And how many driver are there in Grand Chelem? Erm, I mean the competitors.
RK: Well, then no. I would say I reach the quater finals of the Grand Chelem.
CG: Do you think you came to the highest level of competition a bit too early?
RK: It all depends how you look at it. Majority of drivers, who for instance did start in S2000 or 4WD, say that when you sit behind a WRC car, it's a totally different story. There are a few guys that were exceptional in S2000, but need some time to adapt in WRC. And these are not the drivers that came from track racing, but they have already been in rallies for 6-7 years. That's why I believe I did the right thing to drive in WRC. The same mistakes could happen while driving a lower category car. Of course the velocity is slower, however not that much, but in fact I could make the same mistakes.
CG: But now you are being compared with world rally champion and other top drivers. Perhaps you should have stayed in lower tier?
RK: Some might think, that when I compete with the best in the world, I am trying to beat them. I am not, that would be stupid. It's like saying that we are handing a Formula One car to a top rally driver. He is allowed to do some laps on a bicycle or a road car. And then we measure his lap time. Not after 100 laps. The very first lap. And F1 track has like 10 corners, majority of them can be seen from within the cockpit. Here, only at one SS you can have 300 or more corners, traction varies. So it's basically a different sport. There is no easy way.
CG: So perhaps it would be wise to slow down a bit?
RK: Yes, you can approach rallies a bit different. But taking part in world championship is time consuming and costs a lot of energy. And I am not interested in flying to Mexico for vacations and driving a rally car for fun. For sure, with such approach it would be easier to get a proper result in your first season, because there is higher possibility of ending the rally. And Mexico is typical elimination rally - many drivers had issues and did mistakes. I believe that proper result, if it ever comes, will not be within next coming months. Because I know where I am standing at, and I know it's not really good, when it comes to experience compared to other drivers. I think everyone who is a rally fan knows this.
CG: How much time do you need to regularly compete with top dogs?
RK: If you want to achieve anything special in this sport, you have to rally 8-10 years. Just as some had to wait for their first win. Latvala had driven for 6 years before his first rally victory. Sordo, who is a very good driver, 10 years. Of course, there are exceptions, people who are born once in a while, Ogier and Loeb, they never needed that much time. But they also never came from another sport discipline. I am gaining experience among the best ones. And in fact I can either drive peacefully and forget about SS later on, or drive faster and know in what state I currently am in. Then I can eliminate the mistakes that I made, for example with the notes. It's not the first time when I see that on narrow parts my notes aren't perfect. And when the road changes from wide to narrow, then for the first few corners I am in big trouble.
CG: Now we have 4 weeks break. Do you want to forget a little bit about rallying?
RK: No, why would I want to forget? Today I am going to play the videos from onboard camera that I did last year in Portugal and will spend some time watching. It would surely be nicer to come home with a rally finish and more mileage. But let's be honest - wrecked car is not a nice view for the driver, nor is for my co-pilot Maciek. But these are the rules and you either accept it or don't start at all. I start with very little experience in the hardest rallies of the world. Every rally is different, every rally is specific. As I said many times before, some stages are easier to me, some are harder. Some are easier to make notes on, some are harder in that aspect. But in order to analyse my driving, to draw conclusions, I have to drive.