Q&A with BMW's Robert Kubica
BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica was on hand for the official unveiling of the new F1.09 in Spain this morning then put the new car through its initial paces in front of the awaiting media. However, before he took to the track, he took the time to answer a few questions.....
How far will driving in Formula One change in the 2009 season compared to 2008?
Aerodynamics will be reduced by around 40 or 50 percent, so the downforce level of the cars will be much lower. Taking this into account, Formula One will be influenced much more mechanically than aerodynamically. Nevertheless, aerodynamics will still play a big role. I expect quite big differences between the cars – especially at the beginning of the season. The return of slick tires is one of the best things to happen in Formula One in the last five or six years. I guess that all drivers prefer slicks to grooved tires and are pretty happy. Finally, the introduction of KERS is a major change. However, at the moment it is hard to predict how much it will affect driving.
What are the attributes/characteristics a good Formula One driver needs?
First of all performance – you have to be quick. Additionally, understanding the technical side of the sport and being able to give good feedback to the engineers. Also, the driver’s experience and the way he works with the team are important. There are many factors that make a good Formula One driver. However, if I have to choose one attribute, it is definitely performance.
Away from Formula One you like to play poker and snooker and go bowling. How do they compare with F1?
They don’t compare with Formula One at all. That’s why I like them. In my job, I spend a lot of time with a lot of action, high speed and noise. By contrast, poker and bowling are quite steady. You don’t have to put in too much effort. Especially when I am bowling I can completely switch off my brain and relax. During the winter break I took part in some tournaments. I have some friends who play at a very high level in Europe. I really enjoy playing with them.
Please describe yourself in three words.
Determined. Easy-going. Distanced.
What has been your greatest success so far?
Winning the Italian Karting Championship back in 1998.
How do you deal with set-backs?
Losing is part of life. You have to take the positive aspects from winning and the positive aspects from losing. Set-backs can make you much stronger. Actually, you can profit much more from losing than from winning. The years in my life I learnt most were the years when I was not able to achieve my goals. During these times I became a lot stronger. Of course, I enjoy the times when everything is running smoothly. But life is always changing – sooner or later you will have to deal with difficulties again. It is important to conquer these difficulties in the right mood and to learn from them.
What does family mean to you?
Family is very important for me. My family have given me a lot of support during my entire career, but also away from my job as a racing driver. They are one of the most valuable, if not the most valuable part of my life.
What does home mean to you?
A lot of people who meet me tend to say I would be half Italian because I’ve spent a lot of time in my life in Italy. I therefore understand the Italian mentality and like Italy a lot. However, I am 100 percent Polish. My hometown is Krakow and I feel absolutely at home whenever I am there. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time in Poland lately due to my busy calendar.
When is Robert Kubica satisfied?