Robert Kubica has admitted that he remains undecided about which direction his motorsport future will take, admitting that he is in rallying for the challenge rather than financial gain.
The Pole was forced to put a burgeoning F1 career on the backburner following an horrific 2011 accident while pursuing his second love, but has battled back to become a force on both the ERC and WRC schedules. He admits, however, that he is unlikely to make a living from rallying.
“I think it's very difficult to get paid in rallies,” he told journalists after claiming WRC2 victory on the Rally Italia Sardegna, “If I would like to have some salary, I would have stayed in circuit racing as I am still quite a good name and I have a lot of experience - I think it will not be difficult for me to get well paid in circuit [racing].
“But my situation is a bit more difficult and a bit more complex than it looks and I felt I needed a new challenge, because I was racing in the highest motorsport category in the world which is F1. F1 is well above all motorsport in the world by far away, so I needed to change something in order to have the same kind of challenge and this is why I chose rally.
“About the future, to be honest, I don't know, but I would like to thank my big sponsors - without LOTOS it would not be possible, and Citroën is also helping me. My pocket is also helping me to invest from my side, and we will see what the future will bring. We will have to keep working and trying to find some good possibilities in case I decide to do rallying in the future. It is still a long way to go and, to be honest, I am not thinking about it.”
Whilst an F1 return may be out of the question until he can demonstrate enough flexibility in his damaged arm to allow access to a cramped cockpit, Kubica tested positively in a DTM car over the winter, before confirming that he would be chasing WRC2 in rallying.
After a series of accidents littered his otherwise impressive start to the season, the former Canadian Grand Prix winner has now strung together back-to-back class wins in Greece and Italy, and believes that he is improving with every outing.
“It's still a long way to go [but], definitely, every day I am learning new things, maybe not quicker but safer, and I have more control of the car and understand better the conditions,” he reasoned, “But, for me, every rally is new so, first, I am discovering roads on the recce and, secondly, I have to prepare good pace notes, which is not easy.
“Third of all, I have to learn to drive consistently and learn many new things on gravel. Rallying is a complex sport - Portugal was in April, and it was my first ever WRC rally on gravel, and then we had Greece and here. Of course, it looks nice but I know that, from my point of view, there is a long way to go and, in order to achieve things, I want to improve my pace. I realise that, in rallying, one needs to promote experience and I don't have any experience, so I have to drive as many rallies as I can in order to improve.”
That same logic continues to preclude any championship aspirations despite Kubica's recent success.