Boullier defends decision to let Kubica rally

2011 F1 season

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

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77 comments on Boullier defends decision to let Kubica rally

  1. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 10th February 2011, 18:27

    I’d really like to see Senna in the car, more so than Heidfeld, simply because I think it would be more interesting and it makes sense to develop new drivers. However, they’re not in a position where time is on their side to get the development out of Senna they want so Heidfeld is a wise and safe choice.

  2. You have a far greater chance of getting injured on a normal road in rush hour than in a rally (quick mental risk assesment tells me the crowd are the crazy ones). Looking at what happened in the accident highlights a problem with crash barrier design and layout, ie they are there for vechicles doing average speeds, they are not of the caliber of racing circuits and not built and layed out accordingly. This accident goes in the Massa and the spring unlucky catergory.

  3. Electrolite said on 10th February 2011, 18:49

    Was looking forward to seeing who was better between Senna and Petrov. But we don’t know for sure yet, although it’s looking pretty positive for Nick.

  4. Common Boullier you need to give Senna his chance in a competitive car…Nick has plenty of years in F1, I mean common Boullier you literally said “Bruno Senna was yur guy in case something LIKE THIS!!! happened” I would really be disappointed seeing Nick there instead of Senna.

  5. UneedAFinn2Win said on 10th February 2011, 20:03

    As for why not Senna, (or Grosjean): the car is not finished, heck, it’s barely started.
    They need a driver who can tell them what KERS or the ARW will do in terms of laptime and tyre degradation, how the “front” exhaust behaves. And that requires experience.

    Sucks to be Petrov now. Boullier has effectively dissed him and his abilities as anything else than a fat purse.

  6. Everybody is saying “Oh we want Kimi back, F1 will never be the same!” oh give it a rest. He doesn’t want to be in F1, plus he spat at Renault so I don’t see why they would have picked him even if he did want to come back.

  7. IMO Bruno doesn’t deserve a chance. He’s really shoved too little in his career. Just because his last name is Senna, doesn’t earn him the seat automatically.
    He will never be his GREAT uncle.
    And all Senna fanatics can dream another dream.

    Hell, we could have all the young Mansells, Prosts, Laudas, Piquets … F1 now. But it won’t be the 80’s again. Get real.


  8. Rocky (@rocky) said on 10th February 2011, 23:52

    The first rule of racing will be very much in play at Renault “you must first beat your team mate”
    Petrov was not expected to beat Kubica but he will be expected to hold his own against Heidfeld or Sena.
    This could become a very slippery triangle indeed. I hope Sena gets an opportunity; Heidfeld has plenty with nothing to show for it.
    Get better soon Robert.

  9. Skett (@skett) said on 11th February 2011, 0:08

    Why does everyone slag off Heidfeld so much? He beat Kubica in three out of their four years as team mates! Ok so 2006 doesn’t really count but thats still two out of three.

    On a side note I just made a quick look to see what the odds were on Heidfeld winning the drivers championship. 25/1. What I found weird about that though is that its the same as Massa’s. Shows what people think of the way ferrari are gonna treat massa this year!

  10. quick_kill said on 11th February 2011, 1:42

    rallying, karting.. and other activities – you cant avoid things & accidents you won’t/don’t know of. You cant blame Brundle also, it was just a comment out of concern for him.. having a car that may win the championship.. his commitments as a driver for a team.. and his health of course.

  11. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 11th February 2011, 2:30

    Nice to hear that he is out of danger now.he is right as there is a lot of Petrol in Kubica & F1 isn’t a place where you can spend a lot of them that’s why he went for Rallying, that’s unfortunate what had happen to him. We can only pray for the best.

  12. I honestly think this will be the only ‘real’ shot that Bruno is ever going to get driving a proper F1 car that looks to have some potential this year. We still forget that back in the 2008 post season test he did for Honda when he came 0.3 off Jenson’s best time. And this will probably be the second time in his career where he might have to have to step aside for a more experience driver – I just feel for the poor kid! Just really hopes he goes well and give us all some faith in him. As for Heidfeld, he’s a safe bet for Renault. But if they want someone to develop the car you’d probably look to Pedro as he’s one of the few drivers (available) who’s tested a recent championship winning car..

  13. The Limit said on 11th February 2011, 14:30

    I agree with Boullier completely. You can’t wrap a driver in cotton wool nor can you watch them 24hrs a day seven days a week. Drivers have missed races due to injuries before, one of the most infamous being Juan Montoya’s 2005 ‘tennis’ injury for instance. At the end of last season, Mark Webber admitted to racing although injured due to a mountain bike accident, which some suggested at the time may have been responsible for his dip in form.
    Whatever side of the fence you are on in this debate, the fact remains that these men are by their very natures’ risk takers. They spend their entire lives pushing the envelope both in F1 and outside of F1.
    The sport lost Jim Clark back in 1968 whilst he was competing in an F2 race at Hockenheim. Poor old Mike Hawthorn was killed after losing control of his car on the Guilford bypass, as I said, as regrettable as these events are, these men do live very extreme lives.
    The one crumb of comfort from this I have is that Felipe Massa recovered to compete in F1 again, and I feel that Robert Kubica will do the same. Ofcourse this may make the teams think twice about allowing drivers to compete in other risky ventures away from F1, but it would be like Prohibition was to 1920’s America. Impossible to stop and pointless.

  14. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 11th February 2011, 14:55

    Seems like he is more fired up then before.

  15. SpideR-OnE said on 11th February 2011, 15:46 . Video from car drive on the track before Kubica, 0:52 spot where Robert crash.

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