9 February 2014
Rally Sweden: Kubica endures 'difficult event'
Robert Kubica: I have to say that I was looking forward to finishing this rally, and we have done that. Of course not in the way we would have liked to, but a finish is a finish and the experience is the same.
Robert Kubica has admitted he found Rally Sweden a 'really difficult event' and that two of his offs during the event were a 'little bit crazy'.
Kubica had been on course to finish in the top-ten and score a point or two, until the second loop on Friday, when he went off in SS12, the repeat-run through Lesjofors, and got stuck in a snow bank. That incident cost him ten minutes, dropping him from P10 to P25.
The Pole then suffered more woe in SS14, losing another ten minutes, and on the final day, running first on the road, suffered a third brush with the white barriers in SS20, although this time it only cost him three minutes.
Reflecting at the finish, following his very first proper winter rally, and after bringing his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC car home in 24th position, the former F1 pilot joked that at times he felt like he was driving like his 'grandmother going to the supermarket'.
“Finally we got to the end, that was our target but unfortunately without mistakes. I made a stupid mistake on Friday with an awkward landing after a jump. After that it became even more difficult. I [then] made two [more] mistakes which were a little bit crazy. By driving slowly and carefully I don't drive like I should be and have more moments and more mistakes than when I'm driving fast,” he explained after round two in the 2014 World Rally Championship.
“It's been a really difficult event, but I've gained a lot of experience which can only help us in the future. I have to say that I was looking forward to finishing this rally, and we have done that. Of course not in the way we would have liked to, but a finish is a finish and the experience is the same,” he continued.
“When we were in good shape and driving fast I think we were having a good rally, especially considering the conditions. We made mistakes, but I know the reasons for them so now we just need to reset and focus on Mexico.”
M-Sport team boss Malcolm Wilson meanwhile also reckons the experience will have been beneficial: “I'm sure this is a rally that Robert would most likely want to forget, but it has been invaluable to his development. I know he will be disappointed, but in his defence this has been the most difficult Swedish rally that I can remember. To come here with no previous experience on snow, I think he'll go away, reflect, and realise that he has learnt a lot from this weekend,” Wilson concluded.
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