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 Kraków 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.”