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GP Week : Issue 166
F1 >>> NEWS After taking part in a not-so-secret WRC test with Ford at France’s Circuit de Ecuyers, Robert Kubica made his return to the world of competitive motorsport this weekend with a drive in Italy’s Ronde Gomitolo di Lana Rally, which took place on Saturday and Sunday. The Polish racer won the first stage of the rally on Saturday afternoon, behind the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRC. Kubica’s promising Formula One career was derailed by a horrific accident in the Ronde di Andora Rally in February 2011, and motorsport fans the world over have been waiting to see whether the popular Polish driver would return to fighting fitness. News of his secret WRC test was greeted with fer vent optimism by those who saw it as confirmation of his inevitable F1 comeback. While much has been made of Kubica’s return to the world of motor-racing, it is unlikely that the popular Pole will come back to F1, despite many claims currently being made to the contrary by the motorsport media. There is no doubt that Kubica has retained his pace, his race craft, and his fighting spirit, but the nature of his injuries were such that the fine motor skills needed to pilot a modern Formula One car are no longer there. Kubica’s talent is such that a WRC car can be modified to suit his capabilities with relative ease, but the proliferation of buttons and dials on an F1 steering wheel makes similar modifications not possible at the present time. According to a well-placed source within the world of rallying, Kubica’s August performance was more than impressive, with the injured ex-Formula One driver besting the lap times of both Petter Solberg and Jari-Matti Latvala during his recent test in France. As a result, those paddock figures with connections in the worlds of Formula One and WRC are talking about Kubica’s rallying future: BobbyK looks almost certain to succeed where Kimi Raikkonen – ironically the Pole’s replacement at Lotus – failed to impress. KUBICA RALLIES ROUND 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: