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Kubica keen for rally comeback but only for fun

Robert Kubica says he misses rallying but would only consider a return to the discipline in the future for “fun” rather than competition.

The one-time Formula 1 race winner and now AF Corse Ferrari Hypercar driver in the World Endurance Championship continues to follow the World Rally Championship closely, having competed in the series from 2013-16.

Kubica has long admired rallying before he rose to fame in F1, while he also won the 2013 WRC2 championship before competing in the top class across the next two seasons, driving an M-Sport-built Ford Fiesta, recording 14 stage wins and a best result of sixth in Argentina in 2014.

After making a final start in 2016, Kubica returned to F1 with Williams in 2019 which then led to a spell in the DTM before a move into sportscar racing and the WEC in 2021.

There has been speculation of a rally comeback for Kubica who attended the WRC’s visit to his native Poland earlier this month.

When asked if he would like to make a return in the future, he told “Honestly, I miss rallies a bit. I’m a big fan of them. But now I have my own things to do in my racing programme so since I stopped rallying in early 2016, I see the rallies more from a fan perspective, a supporter.

“I follow what’s going on [in WRC]. I follow the rallies more than anything else.

Robert Kubica, Subaru Impreza WRC

Photo by: Andre Vor / Sutton Images

“If [a return] could be a bit of fun then yes, but not in the spirit of competition. Of course, there are some rallies on the calendar that I watch, and I think it would be nice to do. But then I remember how much effort and preparation goes into it. But if you go into it for fun, you can be part of a rally without any real pressure.”

Kubica is now part of the booming WEC scene that has witnessed significant growth in manufacturer interest with nine marques now represented in the Hypercar/LMDh class. This has indirectly resulted in the Pole landing a seat in an AF Corse-run Ferrari Hypercar, following the Italian marque’s return long-awaited return to the championship last year.

Having seen the explosion of manufacturer interest in WEC, Kubica hopes the WRC can experience something similar and believes rallying continues to offer fans and manufacturers “something special”.

But as the 12-time F1 podium finisher gears up for WEC’s visit to Brazil this weekend, he admits there is a lot of work required for rallying to enjoy a similar boom period.

“It’s a complex topic and it will require the involvement of different parties,” said Kubica, when asked how the WRC could follow in the WEC’s footsteps.

“I think what is happening now [in WRC] is not something to do with the current days it is a trend that probably started when I was in WRC. Unfortunately, in modern life, people tend to appreciate different kinds of sports and way of racing generally in motorsport.

Andreas Mikkelsen, Torstein Eriksen, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Andreas Mikkelsen, Torstein Eriksen, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: Tomasz Kalinski

“I still think that rallies offer something special, especially from a fan’s perspective. In the WEC, there has been a big boost in manufacturers in the last two years and the level has gone massively up.

“Manufacturers are attracting other manufacturers, and this is what rallying has struggled to attract new manufacturers and, as I say, this is a complex topic, but fortunately I don’t have to think about it.

“But from a fan’s perspective I would like to see something like what has happened in WEC, it would be very special and beneficial for everyone. This hasn’t happened for a long time. I know people are trying and I think there is not one single silver bullet, but it will require work to try and improve things.”

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