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Friday, September 17, 2021

Kubica thought he had examined Positive for COVID-19 when Alfa known as to switch Raikkonen

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Kubica was anticipating to get up on Saturday to the same old reserve driver routine of sitting in on the odd debrief mixed with numerous hanging round on the Alfa hospitality constructing.

As a substitute, he discovered himself fast-tracked into the cockpit of Raikkonen’s C41 after the Finn tested positive for COVID-19.

Two years after his final and really irritating season with Williams, and on the age of 36, Kubica will make his 98th grand prix begin simply a few weeks after he suffered the heartbreak of losing an LMP2 victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the closing minutes of the race.

It is another chapter in what has been a unprecedented profession, and which took such a unique flip after his rally accident simply over a decade in the past.

“You’re ready,” he mentioned after qualifying. “As a result of it is written in your contract and your place, you already know very nicely your place. However to be sincere, perhaps I am too {old}, however I by no means actually thought it’d occur.

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“After all, you already know there’s a likelihood it occurs, however you don’t need actually it to occur, as a result of in the long run it signifies that one thing has occurred along with your team-mates. However that is a part of the sport, a part of my place within the crew.”

Robert Kubica, Take a look at and Reserve Driver, Alfa Romeo Racing and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

After a standard day on standby on the observe on Friday, he had no thought when he went to mattress that he was in for a busy Saturday.

“Effectively, to be sincere, I’ve been woken up this morning,” he defined. “So I hear one thing ringing, my room telephone, however I assumed it was subsequent door. So I awakened, and I did not perceive what is going on on. Then I watched my cellphone, I noticed missed calls from Fred [Vasseur].

“I first thought I’ve examined Positive, as a result of I’ve arrived late right here, I’ve been in Warsaw till Thursday afternoon with our accomplice Orlen. Then I opened the telephone up, and I see no, I am detrimental, and on the similar time I used to be calling Fred.

“So in fact, when you obtain a name early morning, you already know that one thing is happening. And doubtless the crew will want me. Then I waited till 9am [after the curfew] and we might get into the paddock to start out working.

“And from there, for instance, no extra fairly boring Saturday for me! And it grew to become a fairly hectic and fairly difficult Saturday, sporting overalls.”

Kubica has loved three FP1 outings with Alfa this yr: in Barcelona, Austria, and just some weeks in the past in Hungary. As such, he’s conversant in the C41, and its quirks.

Nevertheless, leaping right into a one hour session on such a tough observe, one which he final sampled in his F3 days in 2004, was no straightforward process.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41, Robert Kubica, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41, Robert Kubica, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Picture by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

In the long run, Kubica did what was wanted, getting the automotive safely into the race in 18th, forward of the 2 Haas drivers.

Even for a driver of Kubica’s expertise, getting the braking proper when on the restrict in qualifying was maybe the most important problem.

“Flip 3 was all the time an enormous problem, I believe primarily I misplaced final time within the morning there. However within the qualifying, I did enhance a bit. It isn’t usually you’ve gotten a chance to drive on such a banked nook. Even Kimi was additionally struggling in these Turns 2 and three.

“It is one thing new, however when you don’t have any thought of the automotive, of the tyres, after which including fairly excessive banking, it is a step-by-step factor. And as I mentioned, for me, the method was the right one.

“After all, I might do significantly better. However with the chance it’s important to soak up qualifying with these automobiles, and this morning once more some drivers made errors – I am not silly, and I do know the place my place is.”

His run at Le Mans meant that Kubica arrived at Zandvoort race match. Nevertheless, he says that doing a lot mileage in a sportscar this season really made for a tough transition again to F1.

“Endurance racing is a brand new problem, it is good. However once more I say I have never completed any qualifying this yr in Le Mans.

“From Barcelona for my first race till now I’ve put solely two occasions new tyres in all my classes, there I am usually working with used tyres on the race tempo and organising the automotive with heavy gasoline.

#41 Team WRT Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2, Robert Kubica, Louis Delétraz, Yifei Ye

#41 Crew WRT Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2, Robert Kubica, Louis Delétraz, Yifei Ye

Picture by: Paul Foster

“Anyway, it is so totally different that in all probability if I cannot race will probably be higher! Since you are used to one thing and then you definitely uncover that braking on the 60 metre mark into Flip 1 is simply too late or too early. You need to brake after 50 metres.

“And your mind is telling you nicely, however usually what you’ve gotten skilled within the final month, you’ll be braking 120. So there are numerous psychological issues occurring.”

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With Sergio Perez set to start out from the again of the grid Kubica will transfer as much as seventeenth. It will not be straightforward to progress from there on pure efficiency, however that is more likely to be a race of attrition, with lots occurring.

Can he survive and make the highest 10? What an ideal story that might be, particularly after the Le Mans disappointment.

“The life can carry unhealthy days and good days. I believe I am sadly a superb instance with what occurred in my life.

” instance as a result of in the long run for me it is my third time, for instance, as a newcomer into F1. So I did 2006, 2019 and this time. The circumstances are usually not the identical, as a result of we all know the rationale why I am right here, however that is how it’s.”

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