Former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica says that while people may have “high hopes” when it comes to his result in Germany, he thinks it won't be easy and has called for realism.
Germany is the first all-asphalt event of the season and last year the Pole did very well on his debut in Trier piloting his Citroen DS3 RRC to WRC2 victory and fifth place overall.
Kubica also shined on the sealed-surface roads of Rallye Monte Carlo back in January, battling for third early on in his Fiesta RS WRC car.
Despite all that though, and despite the fact tarmac is his preferred surface, he is adamant his primary objective is to gain more experience in his first season with a top-spec World Rally Car and believes Rallye Deutschland will be very tough.
“Some people have high hopes when it comes to my result, but I think we have to be realistic. It will be a difficult rally,” Kubica said in the build-up to round nine in the 2014 World Rally Championship.
“The characteristics of these roads with lots of hairpins and tight junctions are extremely difficult with my limitations. I had a few issues there in 2013 and this year it might be even trickier since some of the stages are reversed. From what I remember, that means that there will be lots of very tight uphill hairpins and it's always more difficult to turn the car into these types of hairpins than it is on the downhill sections.
“There will be at least six or seven drivers who can fight for the podium and that is why we need to be realistic. For sure the Volkswagens will be very strong at their home event and Citroen have won the previous 12 editions of Rally Germany.
"Those cars are driven by some very good drivers so we will just try to do our own rally and remember how tricky these stages can be.”
Kubica was, however, pleased with how his pre-event preparations went and he was also in asphalt action in Italy last month – piloting an A-Style prepared Fiesta RS WRC to victory at Rally Internazionale del Casentino.
“We've done some tests and the feeling on tarmac is quite good. The weather was a bit unreliable, especially on day one in the vineyards, so it was quite difficult to do some consistent work on the set-up of the car. But apart from that everything went smoothly and I think that we are well prepared,” he added.