Robert Kubica has revealed that the first he knew about BMW's decision to withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 world championship campaign was when he read about it on the internet - but the Pole insists he is not worried about next year and is remaining 'open-minded' regarding what the future might hold.

BMW stunned the grand prix paddock in announcing at the end of last month that it was to pull the plug on its official F1 involvement at the close of the season - only four years on from its arrival in the top flight as a manufacturer in its own right when it bought the former Sauber team in late 2005 and, seemingly, before any of the team's workforce had been forewarned about the bombshell.

The present campaign, indeed, has not been a happy one for the Bavarian outfit, with but eight points on the board - six courtesy of the experienced Nick Heidfeld and just two from Kubica in the sister F1.09 - a far cry from the tally of 89 that the team had at the same stage twelve months ago. The Krak?w native questioned BMW's timing of the announcement, and expressed his conviction that had the year been one marked by victories and successes rather than ignominy and abject failure, the future would have been an altogether different story.

"It was quite a shock decision, an unexpected one," Kubica acknowledged in an interview with the official F1 website. "I woke up in the morning, did some running, opened the internet and saw it. Then I received an email informing me about the decision. In some ways I was surprised, but normally all information has some leakage to the media before it happens.

"At the grand prix in Hungary we didn't know anything of that sort and had no clue what would come our way. True, you could feel maybe something because we had some talks in Hungary and I witnessed some strange situations, but I was never expecting such a 'big' decision and I think everybody is still worried about the future. I am sure there are reasons to take such a big decision, but I don't really know them.

"I also found the timing a bit strange, as we still have seven races to go and finding the right motivation will be difficult. Normally you would try to keep your team as smooth as possible without any problems during the year, but now we have this big topic which is not ideal.

"I think (the team being more competitive this year) would have changed everything. If you remember what I said last year - that probably we will never have the chance to repeat that success - the scenario has become reality. Last year I was upset; I thought that we didn't make the maximum of our opportunities to fight for the championship, because I said it might never happen again. Here you go!

"If we were first or second in the championship I assume we would not have the kind of problem that we are facing now. Maybe at the end of the season they would have made that decision, but for sure not in mid-season. The way the timing was, it was very difficult for Peter Sauber who wants to find a solution for the Hinwil-based team. The situation is not very nice and I will do everything to help them find a solution. What I can do is try to get good results [and] do my best. Our season already was very difficult, and this decision doesn't make things easier.

"I'm kind of a small piece of this paddock and one small tool of the team. I have nothing to say about the decision of the big bosses on the board - that's how it is. It's hard to accept it, but I think in the end it's much harder for the other team members than it is for me, or for Nick or for key people in the team. Especially the Hinwil-based team is not in a good situation. I hope that there is a way out of this and that they will be able to continue, as these are all skilled people that deserve a better ending than we face now."

Turning his attentions to the future, Kubica has been most strongly linked with a move to Renault - assuming good friend and double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso does indeed, as is widely expected, switch to Ferrari next year - but expert poker player as he is, the 24-year-old is keeping his cards close to his chest and giving nothing away. All he hopes is that his reputation - which soared in 2008 as he strung together an entirely unheralded and unanticipated title challenge - has not taken a knock as his fortunes have slumped in-line with those of his team.

"I am quite open-minded," he stressed. "I might have my opinions, but as we have seen you never can be sure. When I left Hungary everything was fine. Just to find myself some days later facing such a decision, I have learned now that it is very difficult to predict anything in the future, so I am quite open.

"I was linked with BMW for a very long time - since 2006 - so for many seasons already, and I have a contract for next year, so this situation is new for me and the people working for me. We will probably have more meetings, apart from the de-briefs and technical meetings, to find the best solution for me for next year.

"This year is very difficult - for the team and myself. The car is very difficult to drive, and all I know is that all the teams want quick drivers and I've shown last year that once the car is quick I am able to give that little extra that might make the difference in the result.

"I think there are a few opportunities, but as everybody was on holiday lately we will start working this weekend and I am confident about finding the right place for next season. Of course that is not easy, as it is hard to say which car will be the best and which team [is] best to go to - but hopefully I will be in a competitive car in 2010."

Heidfeld's future, too, is up in the air, with the German understood to have fewer potential openings within the paddock than Kubica. The man from M?nchengladbach has begun 160 grands prix at the highest level since making his debut for the now defunct Prost Grand Prix operation back in 2000, but he has still to register his breakthrough victory - and some have surmised that the 32-year-old's time could now be up. Not so, he insists.

"It definitely came unexpectedly," he is quoted as having said by AFP on the subject of BMW's withdrawal. "After Honda pulled out, and with the worldwide financial situation, I was always careful about trying to see how things were going on in the background. The feeling and feedback I always had was that we were safe and secure for the future. That is why it was a surprise.

"I feel as confident as before, though [about securing a drive for 2010]. It was not certain that I would be with BMW next year, so I was already in talks with other teams before the decision was made public."

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment