Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2011

Boullier defends decision to let Kubica rally

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2011
Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2011

Eric Boullier stands by his decision to allow Robert Kubica to participate in rallies despite his driver’s crash on Sunday.

The Renault team principal told reporters in Jerez: “No. I’m sorry, I stick on my point of view.

“I’m a racing guy, I’ve known Robert for five or six years. Robert is a racer. He loves go-karts, he loves rallying, he loves Formula 1. He’s just like a wild cat, if you put him in a cage you’d get him mad.

“Everybody can bring his opinion about this. Yes, there will be the pro-, there will be the anti-. And at the end we do what we believe is best for the team and for the driver.

“Yes, it’s very unfortunate and sad he’s in the hospital today. But before this corner he was the happiest man on earth. I guess, except he wanted to be world champion.”

Boullier added that Kubica is “in the best condition we can dream, or expect” given his injuries. He is due to have further surgery lasting four to five hours on his elbow and shoulder but is “out of danger now”, according to Boullier.

The team principal added that the timing of Kubica’s accident made it more likely the team would choose to put an experienced driver in the car:

“If the accident had happened in July or August, the car would have been developed. So we could have had the choice to go for a young driver to give him some miles and train and educate him in Formula 1.

“The accident, unfortunately, arrived right after the first shakedown of the season. We have to develop the car from scratch. So the obvious choice of driver is an experienced driver.”

Boullier listed the new Pirelli tyres, KERS and adjustable rear wing as further reasons why an experienced driver was needed to develop the car. He added that the team’s “aggressive” car, with front-exiting exhausts, was another reason to opt for experience.

He hopes to make a call on a replacement for Kubica after the Jerez test finishes on Sunday:

“Nick is here. If I may say this without being arrogant he is here to be evaluated. Once we are finished the test if we’re happy with Nick, we’ll get Nick.

“If we are not, we will go to Barcelona with another driver.”

He added that Kimi R??ikk??nen was not interested in leaving his rally commitments behind to drive for the team.

Robert Kubica rally crash