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Kubica: Adapting mentally the toughest part of recovery

  • 10 Mar 2019 12:18
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Robert Kubica says that adapting mentally following his life-threatening rally crash in 2011 was the toughest part of his recovery.

Kubica was involved in a major accident at the Ronde di Andora, which left him with a partially amputated forearm. The Pole, who was racing in Formula 1 at the time, had to take a step back from the series while he recovered.

 In 2017, Kubica's chances of returning to F1 increased, as he tested with Renault on a number of occasions. After failing to find a seat at the Enstone squad, he embedded himself in the Williams team, becoming its test and development driver for the 2018 season.

This year, Kubica will make his full-time comeback, racing for Williams alongside George Russell. The return caps a remarkable recovery story, but Kubica says that adapting mentally to his new situation was much tougher than getting over the physical disadvantages.

“The period straight after the accident was probably most difficult physically," Kubica told The Guardian. "You live in a different situation, so in the end there is a kind of switch and you change your mind, you have to learn and you want to learn.

"I discovered how powerful the brain can be. The brain adapts very quickly. It is incredible how quickly we can adapt and what progress we can make in a very short time.

“The period where you have to adapt mentally, this was even more difficult. Physical things you can solve. But then many times after surgery to improve things, you discover you have not moved forwards but backwards.

"Dealing with that is a mental task. You have to be strong. I do not have an easy character, definitely, and in those days this character helped me quite a lot.”

Speaking about his first F1 outing since 2011 when he tested the 2012 Lotus car two years ago, Kubica said that the feeling of the cars came back to him quickly.

“I felt amazing in the car,” he said. “After a few laps, it felt so familiar to me. Those laps did not feel like it had been a six‑year break. It felt like I had missed a couple of months. This opened up and unlocked my mind to see that maybe I can do it.”


Replies (4)

Login to reply
  • I feel a bit sorry for him. Now, after all this time, he is back in F1, only to find himself in the worst team.

    • + 0
    • Mar 10 2019 - 15:09
    • Major Tom

      Posts: 152

      It may be a blessing in disguise. It could give him a bit more time to get up to speed. Generally F1 is very very quick to judge.

      • + 0
      • Mar 10 2019 - 22:35
  • cricho

    Posts: 63

    True inspiration for everyone RK! His effort to make a comeback to an F1 drive is his biggest career achievement so far. Eventhough his car is at the back of the grid i am certain he will play a crucial role in williams survival in 2019. Might also teach a lesson to a couple of drivers here and there.....

    • + 0
    • Mar 10 2019 - 15:28
  • Pistonhead

    Posts: 89

    The guy's a legend and if he manages to stay ahead of George it would be a helluva achievement. Go for it Robert !

    • + 0
    • Mar 10 2019 - 16:32

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