Should Robert Kubica have been in a rally car?

Monday, February 7, 2011 Posted by the sportsloop team
The F1 world is in shock as the extent of the injuries sustained by Robert Kubica
emerge. Universally liked within the sport, Kubica is one of Formula One’s good

Quotes attributed to the surgeon who spent seven hours working on the Pole’s
partially severed right hand indicate that if he is to regain full functionality of his
hand it could take a minimum of 12 months rehabilitation – if he is able to at all.
It goes without saying that my best wishes are with him at this time.

This incident brings into focus the fact that motorsport is still dangerous. People
have grown used to seeing drivers emerge relatively unscathed from monstrous
shunts – Kubica’s scary accident at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix being a prime
example. What has happened to Kubica serves as a reminder of what these
drivers risk each time they step into a racing car.

Forums across the internet have been ablaze with people commenting that
Renault were mad to let their lead driver take part in a rally in the lead up to
the F1 season. However I think Renault team principal Eric Boullier sums up
the team’s feelings on the matter rather succinctly "We've let him do it because
rallying is what he loves to do. Rallying is vital for Robert and for his sanity.
Besides that, there is a reciprocal agreement. We knew the risks and so did he.
We didn't want a robot or a corporate man for a driver."

Given the injuries many would disagree with this decision, but I for one have no
problem at all with the team letting Kubica compete in rallies. While clearly it
hasn’t worked out, no one prior to the accident seemed to object too much to
Kubica taking on this challenge, with F1 Racing magazine even running a feature
on it in their January edition.

Kubica is a man who considers himself to be a ‘racing driver’ rather than a ‘F1
driver’, and his flourishing at Renault last year, after escaping the more corporate
confines of the BMW team, certainly points to a man who’s life is enriched by
indulging his passion for racing. If doing this helps bring the best out of Robert
then Renault would have been mad not to let him go rallying.

We hear so many complaints about sportsmen being generic, corporate clones,
so I find it quite refreshing to see a world class sportsman being allowed to
participate in something as thrilling and dangerous as a rally.

I would be interested to hear some of your thoughts on this, were Renault right
to let him go rallying?

- JOB 
  1. Anonymous

    Apparently it was not a good idea. And if Renault had high hopes and ambitions for their 2011 contender, they will now suffer, because they don't have the driver, who clearly was WDC material. And if it turns out that this years Renault could have made it to the top with Kubica at the wheel, then he will also feel even more remorse. But I doubt that the R31 would be the car, and hopefully Robert can get back to obtain a good life for himself, with or without F1. If I were a teamboss I wouldn't let my lead driver or both drivers participate in dangerous sports, such as rally, motorcycling, horseback riding, martial arts etc. at least not at a competion level.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, you certainly make some valid points. I think Renault will now regret hiring two inexperienced reserve drivers alongside Petrov. I think Nick Heidfeld will be getting a call within the next few days.

    - JOB

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