Robert Kubica, reserve driver of Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen, admitted that after breaking with Williams he was in talks with six Formula 1 teams.
From a sports point of view, Kubica’s return to F1 was not successful. The dramatic underperformance of the FW42 built by Williams meant that the Pole could only count on his teammate George Russell to fight for the penultimate position.
In September last year, on the occasion of the Singapore Grand Prix, Kubica announced that he would not continue his cooperation with the team from Grove. This immediately aroused speculation as to whether the Pole would manage to stay in F1 and it soon became apparent that only a reserve and/or test driver’s position is realistic.
The priority, however, was to remain part of the most important racing series in the world. Although Kubica was recently 35 years old, the hope of returning to the main lineup is still alive.
“It’s true that I’m already 35 years old but for 8 years I was away from racing and I missed them” said Kubica in an interview with The F1 Magazine.
“Driving a Formula One car gives you a special feeling, although racing and testing are two different things. My role this year makes the attitude and the way I’m going to drive the car different from last year’s. However, the deal has given me the opportunity to stay in F1 and provides the opportunity to drive one of the best race cars in the world. The other side of the medal is that I won’t be racing, and that takes away what I love the most – fighting wheel to wheel. But that’s what another category should provide me with, where I will compete.”
For a long time it seemed like Kubica was going to be a member of the Haas F1 team. Günther Steiner, head of the American team, emphasized that he was interested in working with the Pole. Then Racing Point came into play. Even though the Cracovian eventually ended up in Alfa, it turned out that talks were held with most of the stakes teams.
“I was aware that there were publications connecting me to Haas or Racing Point. There were talks with those teams, although in fact six teams showed interest in hiring me in 2020, in different roles. The main reason for choosing Alfa was that they gave me the opportunity to combine testing the F1 car with competing elsewhere.”
When asked which teams offered to work with, Kubica remains mysterious. “That’s knowledge for me, and if the teams want to share it, they will do it. It’s enough if I say that what I was offered wasn’t what I wanted, so these talks didn’t last long.”
Kubica emphasized from the very beginning that working only in the simulator would not satisfy him. He also emphasized this once again, explaining the reason for being associated with the Hinwil team.
“In view of the current regulations, test drivers have practically no chance to drive on the track. However, Alfa offered quite a lot of time behind the wheel of their car, leaving me the freedom to compete in another series so that I can build something for the future” concluded Robert Kubica.