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GP Week : Issue 168
While rumours have been flying of a possible WRC move for former Formula One driver Robert Kubica, the F1 press corps is keen to see the ex-Renault driver back in a single-seater race car. But rehabilitation is a slow process, and it is unlikely that Kubica will physically be in a position to compete in Formula One next year. A race seat is not Kubica’s only option, however, with Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery saying in Singapore that he would not be opposed to putting the Polish racer in the Pirelli test driver role when his rehabilitation is complete. “We are more likely to work with Robert in rallying I guess, rather than F1, but we will see,” Hembery said. “I haven't spoken to Robert for some time and we are working on a few projects that might involve him, so it might well be a possibility. “I don't know if he is able to do it at the moment. But he is that type of person if physically he could get back in, then maybe doing a year with us would put him in a good situation to come back in in 2014. It would be wonderful if we could do that. We want to continue our success level of helping drivers into F1. After an F1 drive, the Pirelli test deal has to be the best drive in the world.” Hembery’s comments did not come out of thin air – he was responding to a direct question from a journalist, and not making an unsolicited job offer. The most interesting aspect of the Pirelli chief’s comments was his assertion that a future in rallying was more likely. While Kubica has been seen back behind the wheel of a race car for two events over the past two weekends, the popular Pole has been concentrating on rallying, as the cars are easier to adapt for his injuries than a modern Formula One car. Speaking to the media in Italy over the Italian Grand Prix weekend, which he spent taking part in – and winning – a local rally, Kubica admitted that a return to Formula One was on his wishlist. “I've done various tests on the track with high- performance cars, but I need to decide myself what to do, what I would like best, and see whether the F1 objective is reachable or not,” Kubica said when competing in the Ronde Gomitolo di Lana rally two weeks ago. “For sure what I'm doing next year will be with a view on the future, maybe 2014, but honestly I'm not thinking of it.” KUBICA – WANTED (BUT FOR PIRELLI OR WRC?) F1 >>> NEWS as_gpweek_superior.indd 1 9/7/12 1:58 PM as_gpweek_ogov.indd 1 9/12/12 4:43 PM 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: