F1 comeback is “nearly impossible”, Kubica admits

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Robert Kubica, Mercedes, DTM, Valencia, 2013In the round-up: Ahead of his WRC debut later this month Robert Kubica admits his chances of returning to F1 are very small.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Kubica F1 return ‘nearly impossible’ (BBC)

“Driving on gravel is very demanding. There are lots of movements on the steering wheel which put a lot of stress on my arm and my hand. But I know this does not help my biggest limitation, which is driving a single-seater.”

Nico Hulkenberg will not replace Kimi Raikkonen for final two races of Formula One (The Mirror)

“Nico Hulkenberg will not step into Kimi Raikkonen’s shoes for the upcoming US Grand Prix, a spokesman for Sauber said Tuesday.”

Lotus no utilizar?? a Davide Valsecchi para sustituir a Raikkonen (El Confidencial, Spanish)

This report claims Lotus third driver Davide Valsecchi will also not get to drive in place of Kimi Raikkonen this weekend.

F1 teams worried about ‘ugly’ 2014 cars (Autosport)

“That raises the prospect of slender, drooping nose tip extensions to meet minimum rules requirements for this section, protruding from a higher, more bulky, section that will pass crash tests and fit teams’ aerodynamic needs.”

Ecclestone?s ex-wife lent adviser $17m, court told (FT, registration required)

“[Bambino trust representative Stephen Mullens] said Mr Gribkowsky was seeking an agreement to become a F1 consultant but had been making ‘insinuations’ about a supposed relationship between Mr Ecclestone and Bambino. Mr Gribkowsky was prepared to reveal information to the Inland Revenue if he did not get his way, Mr Mullens said.”

Bernie Ecclestone admits to memory loss over details of Formula One reign (The Guardian)

“I’m learning a lot, for which I thank you, because this was 12 [sic] years ago. I have a bit of difficulty to remember what happened last week.”

Formula One boss Bernie Eccelstone says his trial ‘good’ for F1 and hasn’t damaged brand (Herald Sun)

“After he finished giving his evidence, Eccelstone – who testified for three days in all – was asked as he left London’s High Court whether the case had damaged Formula One. ‘I don’t think so,’ he said. ‘It’s good because a lot of facts come out of it.'”

Robin Frijns, Sauber, Young Drivers' Test day one, Silverstone, 2013Silverstone, home of British Grand Prix, is changing hands for just ??10m (The Independent)

“The accounts show that at 31 December 2012 the track, plant and machinery had a value of ??10.8m. This is about a third of the amount that the BRDC spent on building a new pits and paddock complex, known as The Wing, which opened at the track two years ago.”

Red Bull invested $108.9 million in Formula One team in 2012 (AutoWeek)

“Energy-drink manufacturer Red Bull reduced its investment in its championship-winning Formula One team by $28.5 million to $108.9 million last year according to its latest financial statements.”

The Physics of Diffusers: How to Make a Car Really Suck (Car and Driver)

“The laws of fluid dynamics state that as the velocity of air increases, its pressure decreases. An F1 car is low to the road, and thus its flat bottom acts as a venturi to pinch the air and force it to move faster relative to the air above the car. This pressure differential manifests as increased load on the tyres.”

Thanks to Chris SZ for the tip.


Comment of the day

@Trido is disappointed McLaren are rumoured to be dropping Sergio Perez:

I am really surprised. I thought they would keep Perez for another season. He had moments of brilliance in a mediocre car. It is rough to condemn him when McLaren couldn?t give him a car that could compete.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Thenikii and Sid90!

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On this day in F1

The last F1 race contested by turbo-powered cars was won on this day 25 years ago by Alain Prost. Appropriately Prost won the race in a McLaren powered by a Honda engine, which was the dominant power plant in the last three years of the ‘turbo era’.

Ayrton Senna, already confirmed as that year’s world champion, came second to give McLaren their tenth one-two in the sixteen race season.

Nelson Piquet made it an all-Honda podium in Lotus’s last race with the Japanese engines. They will return as McLaren’s engine supplier in 2015.

However the opening stages of the race were led by Gerhard Berger who threw caution (and perhaps his fuel mileage concerns) to the wind as he caught and passed both McLarens:


Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Sauber

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171 comments on F1 comeback is “nearly impossible”, Kubica admits

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  1. Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 13th November 2013, 0:02

    I’m seeing this guy race at the Clocaenog Rally course tomorrow. Literally can’t wait.

    • Nick (@nick101) said on 13th November 2013, 13:03

      Robert Kubica says a return to Formula 1 remains a “dream” but is “nearly impossible”

      Well duh!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th November 2013, 1:30

      @nickj95gb – If any rally stage is a true test of a driver’s ability, it’s Clocaenog (and if any language is a true test of someone’s jaw muscles, it’s Welsh). It’s been used on and off over the past few years, but this year it’s going to be run in its full, unabridged version, which hasn’t been used since the Group A era in the 1990s.

      In fact, the first day of Rally GB is going to be a real treat. The first leg of the competition will be run at night in Snowdonia, which have some of the most terrifying roads that have ever held a rally. The very first stage is Gwydyr, which has not been used since the 1960s. Then they go to Penmachno, which hasn’t been used since the 1990s, and mostly consists of a high mountain pass where snow is common. And then they take on Cloacaenog, which for want of a better word, is exhausting.

      If they survive the first day, the second day is run over familiar stages before the third and final day is made up of new and returning stages.

  2. So, if it’s not going to be Hulkenberg, and it’s not going to be Valsecchi… who will it be?

    Maldonado or Perez?

  3. Owen Conwell (@skitty4lb) said on 13th November 2013, 0:18

    After clicking on the link regarding possible ‘ugly’ 2014 F1 and looking at the artist rendering I was shocked. Terribly ugly. It looks as if the entire car is flipping you off. Or the edges were hacked off the a buzz saw. If that is in fact the front end that most of the 2014 grid will adopt, the ‘stepped noses’ that we all groaned about in 2012-2013 will seem like a by-gone era of beauty.

    • Somethingwittyer (@somethingwittyer) said on 13th November 2013, 1:58

      I’m remaining optimistic. In my eyes the 2007 (first year of the V8 KERS era) cars were hideous, with their anteater noses, flat, stiff, awkward rear decks, and overall messy design. The 2008 cars were a bit better, but not by that much. However, the 2009, 2010 and 2011 cars looked solid (some were better then others), while we all know why nobody liked the look of the 2012 cars. In my eyes the addition of vanity plates made the 2013 cars look fantastic, easily the best of this era. Of course we are losing steeped noses next season, but for once I have faith the FIA might actually do something about it.

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 13th November 2013, 4:27

        2006 was the first year with V8’s. 2009 was the first year with V8’s, KERS and silly low wide front wing and narrow tall rear wings. The cars all looked awful but I agree they have gotten better looking as the years have gone on.

        • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 13th November 2013, 7:47

          I thought some of the 2009 cars were really pretty; the RB5 with the narrow nose was epic, and I also thought the Force India looked pretty good as well.
          Most people don’t share this view, I know.
          Therefore, I can only assume people got used to them.

          • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 13th November 2013, 8:26

            They looked good in 2010, but the majority of the 2009 field were ghastly. The RB5 only started to look good when it got the wider nose I thought, but the best in the field by far were the FW31 and FF109. The worst of the bunch were the R29, F60 and MP4-24.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th November 2013, 13:38

            The problem was and is that the front and rear wings are such different widths that they look like they belong on different cars. 2009 was worst because the cars were also shorter, which only accentuated the disproportion. Next year should be better with narrower front wings. Although I think the biggest problem is the rear one being too narrow, this should go some way to fixing the look.

      • graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 13th November 2013, 6:09

        The 2009 – 2013 look horrible in my opinion, they just look so awkward and nothing really like a racing car. With the tiny toy rear wing and low, wide flat front wings they actually look way too long.

        I actually really like the slightly bizarre look of the 2006-2008 era – fundamentally they still had the low wide rear wing and low noses of years past, but had these futuristic growths protruding from seemingly random points on the body. They had a sculpted beauty and most cars had a distinct look, whereas now they all look the same except for the livery and some front wing winglets.

        Tell me this doesn’t look like a mean, awesome and deliberate racing car: http://www.wmdportal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/bmw-f108-01.jpg – it’s like the whole thing is sculpted from a single piece, instead of the pieced together frakensteins we have now.

        • Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 13th November 2013, 8:28

          Looks like a bomb’s hit it.

          Each to their own…I never liked all those twiddly bits (and still hate the ones on the front wings) – I think today’s cars, from a rear three-quarter view, look great – clean and purposeful. I hope they finally get decent noses too next year – something like Formula Renault 3.5 would be fine.

          But it’s surprising how quickly we accept ugly cars – the ones in Rush weren’t exactly works of art.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 13th November 2013, 13:52

          The one wing I hated most from 2005-2008 was the height of the front wing. I also really disliked the shape they began to take- the 2007 ones were worst. They looked like amazing pieces of art on their own, but attached to a car they gave the whole front end a pinched look. To my mind, regardless of the width (as long as it is in proportion with the rear), a front wing should be low to the ground and mostly flat on its lowest edge to make a car look good. The current wing achieves that (although they looked a little simple and bare in 2009). It just needs to look like its from the same car as the rear wing.

      • Anybody who is a pretty large fan of F1 well no doubt get used to the the look. A poor looking car isn’t a deal breaker for me by any means. And F1 has gone through ugly and beautiful eras. Everybody has their likes and dislikes. It’s just a shame in my opinion, because I’m big builder of scale F1 cars, and I haven’t even wanted to build a car from 2008 and beyond. I just find them visually attractive enough to place a replica on my shelf.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 13th November 2013, 1:58

      @skitty4lb, looks like an aardvark but I suspect reality will be more walrus.

      • Robbie said on 13th November 2013, 3:41

        Hopefully, since the teams have already been discussing this issue, they’ll do their best to keep the appearance pleasing. I’d like to think that it is in the teams’ best interest not to be known to have an ugly car, nor The Ugliest. Respecting at the same time the complete necessity of function.

        One thing I do believe…even if we retain our certain eras of preference in terms of car aesthetics, as each year’s cars appear and some races go by, we do get at least somewhat accustomed to them, if not wholly so. And I also believe that when we look back at other eras, the cars, even our favorites, look outdated and primitive to some degree or other. Perhaps that is inevitable.

        The ‘perfect looking car’ would not look perfect to all (thank goodness or wouldn’t life be boring) and would only be changed eventually, and often annually, such is the way it works. I find myself trying to see some level of beauty in, if nothing else, the purpose for the design, the functionality and how it contributes to the whole car, even if it is from a safety standpoint, let alone as a contributor to downforce, or balance, or cooling etc etc. Or even for the aesthetics.

    • nemo87 (@nemo87) said on 13th November 2013, 2:12

      Regarding the worry or ugly cars in 2014, could teams not consider the ‘walrus’ style nose Williams used on the FW26 to bypass the ugliness if you get me!?

      I actually really liked the look of that car!

    • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 13th November 2013, 3:42

      Its very difficult for the FIA to enforce a mandatory low-nose as they are trying to do. Any worded regulations regarding such bodywork are un-enforceable because they are ambiguous. All the rule makers have at their disposable are imaginary boxes around the car where bodywork is or is not permitted or required.

      If you consider just the nose section on its own, the current high-nose layout actually generates lift but it’s influence on airflow further down the car contributes to greater overall downforce (negative lift) at the cost of a more rearward aero balance. A low-nose layout generates a more forward aero balance which the current generation of cars have no need for as the front wings are so wide and contain so many additional winglets and turning vanes.

      If the FIA want proper ’09 Brawn GP style low noses they need to compromise the front wing in order to cause the designers the need to pursue a more forward aero balance. Take the 2005 McLaren for instance, the regulations for that season severely compromise front wing performance so the nose gets lower and much wider in comparison to the ’03 and ’04 cars in order to compensate.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 13th November 2013, 7:46

      It has a penile look to it.

    • Jonathan189 (@jonathan189) said on 13th November 2013, 8:16

      The word ‘flaccid’ springs to mind.

    • Lucien_Todutz (@lucien_todutz) said on 13th November 2013, 22:36

      We are entering the “cock nose” era in 2014! :))

  4. Michael Brown (@) said on 13th November 2013, 0:26

    That’s strange that Lotus won’t use their own reserve driver. Are they trying to snatch a driver on the grid? Because I personally think Valsecchi is a better replacement than a former F1 driver like Kovalainen.

    Also, the rendition of the 2014 noses almost made me vomit

    • faulty (@faulty) said on 13th November 2013, 1:07

      Some legal issue prevents Davide for racing in Austin.

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 13th November 2013, 3:19

      @lite992 That article in spanish doesn’t actually confirms Lotus won’t use Valsecchi, it says:

      Lotus has tried to replace Raikkonen with Maldonado first, then Hulkenberg. But when the first option seemed possible Williams has demanded a compensation.
      If Valsecchi were to race it would be because of the problems Lotus has had to find a driver with experience in the current grid.

      So there you go, maybe it will be Valsecchi after all, but it definitely isn’t Lotus’ first (or second) choice.

  5. Diego (@ironcito) said on 13th November 2013, 0:41

    [S]ome senior Formula 1 technical personnel have already called for changes to improve aesthetics, but this was not successful due to a lack of agreement on the need to do something.

    That has to be the very definition of politics.

  6. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 13th November 2013, 0:46

    For Kimi’s replacement; let me guess – Pedro De LaRosa? :D

  7. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 13th November 2013, 1:13

    I think everyone who’s wanted to see Kubica return to F1, however unlikely the prospect it has seemed has kinda known for a while it wasn’t to be. It’s a pity because on track his opportunistic passes and ability to wring the best out of an inferior car reminded me a lot of Alonso. He was a great talent in F1 and I hope he continues his success in rallying for a long time.

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 13th November 2013, 2:09

      @colossal-squid His qualifying in Monaco 2010 was massive . It is sad that a man of such talents was to go down into oblivion.I know that DTM is a good option ,but I just feel sad here that he was not to reach his potential, not even half of it .

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 13th November 2013, 18:00

        @hamilfan It is truly sad that he wasn’t able to show what he could do in a top car. I know that they’re two completely different drivers, but the buzz around Hulkenberg reminds me strongly of what people were saying about Kubica in 2008-2010: He’s an immense talent, a future world champion and he deserves a seat in a big team. Both have had deeply impressive races under their belts in inferior cars too.

        I firmly believe that Kubica would have gone to a big team and won several races by now. The ‘Big Four’ drivers people refer to would probably be the ‘Big Five’ with Robert. It’s a huge loss to F1 that he can’t return.

  8. Lotus should get The Stig on the final 2 races.

  9. That picture in Autosport about 2014 design is really scary (aestethically talking). It looks as if the F1 car is showing “the finger” but upside down.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th November 2013, 1:52

      @omarr-pepper – Fear is what the team’s want. There is a genuine solution to the design regulations that is aesthetically pleasing – something similar to what McLaren did last year. But that would mean giving up on the aerodynamic advantages of a high monocoque, so the teams find it cheaper and easier to keep those benefits and make an ugly car to manipulate the public into putting pressure on the FIA to change the rules to something they would prefer. It has nothing to do with aesthetically-pleasing cars, and everything to do with preserving their current positions.

      They did it last year, so they know it works.

      • It has nothing to do with what the teams want in terms of preserving their position. It’s merely about aesthetics.

        McLaren in 2012 changed what was by far the best looking car into a far uglier one because it was the fastest solution given the rules. It didn’t end up looking as bad some other cars, but it didn’t win any championships either. Last season’s McLaren is hardly a good gauge for performance.

        The article states the fastest solution to 2014 is an ugly one. The teams never will and never should sacrifice performance over looks. If the FIA wants pretty cars, they should set the rules so that fastest car is also the prettiest. Even if you could develop a front end that has the best of both worlds, which the article and the noses of recent seasons speak against with more evidence that you could possibly need… why spend time and money into making a car look good when you can spend that money making the car faster?

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 13th November 2013, 1:56

      ha ha What a description ! But it sure looks ugly . In fact the actual cars may look even uglier as I feel that the front wing here has been made more beautiful than what it is likely to be . I remember Ross brawn saying they won’t focus on front wings as that concept becomes redundant for 2014 as they may have to design a new type anyway.

  10. Oh god, my eyes are on fire!!!!

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th November 2013, 1:47

    Does anybody else find it weird that Luiz Razia keeps taking the side of over-talented and under-funded drivers trying to compete for seats with under-talented and over-funded drivers, given that he himself is the very definition of the latter and was only competitive in GP2 because the talent pool had less depth than a wading pool last year?

  12. RaV (@rav) said on 13th November 2013, 2:01

    Kubica’s absence from Formula One is a such a big loss for the sport, probably the biggest in its modern era. :(

    • @rav luckily, his loss was “just” a scary accident and not a loss of a life. The biggest F1 loss recently has definitely been Maria de Villota. Not for talent, where she had little chances to prove if she would have become better, but for her life itself. And Kubica had that accident outside F1. Of course it’s a shame I share with you about how Kubica “could have”, and “would have”, the big ifs.

    • Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 13th November 2013, 2:42

      Am I the only person that doesn’t miss him at all?

      • Jono (@me262) said on 13th November 2013, 2:55

        @spinmastermic something personal?…regardless if you miss him or not, kubica’s abilities were un arguable. Was as good as any of the world champions i’d say

        • Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 13th November 2013, 2:59

          True, I don’t like him. I dont subscribe to the overhype, good as Button but not Alonso (dont like him either).

          • Overhype… like him getting podiums at Monaco and Spa 2010, real drivers tracks, where you can overcome car deficiencies easier (see Kimi’s record at Spa)?

            I’m sorry, but Kubica had the potential to be in that top bracket, and was just getting there at the time of his accident, which is sad for us as we’ll never know how truly great he could have been.

          • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 13th November 2013, 14:23

            I’ve got to admit I was no fan of Kubica as I thought he was massively overhyped. Now I’ve stated by bias though I will say this- I don’t want to say what a “shame” it is because I think Robert’s recovery has been absolutely amazing. What he’s achieved since is far more significant than what the sport is possibly missing out on. What’s more, it’s been a joy to see him in a different series to see what a versatile driver he is. I hope he isn’t frustrated with what he’s doing, and that he’s not in F1 any more because he’s achieved more than most drivers and looks like he can still have a hugely successful career.

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 13th November 2013, 8:17


        Am I the only person that doesn’t miss him at all?

        That’s probably the case. It’s impossible to say if he was as good as Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton or Räikkönen and we will never know that, but he was definitely top-tier. F1 needs more drivers like him.

      • I didn’t like him either. Very boring personality he was imo. Yes, he had flashes of very strong talent, yet he was very often loosing to Heidfeld.

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 13th November 2013, 17:50

      Yes it is. He was one of the top drivers on the grid and could’ve been a World Champion. He might’ve ended up in a Ferrari in 2012 – how different things could have been.

  13. nemo87 (@nemo87) said on 13th November 2013, 2:10

    Regarding the worry or ugly cars in 2014, could teams not consider the ‘walrus’ style nose Williams used on the FW26 to bypass the ugliness if you get me!?

    I actually really liked the look of that car!

  14. Maciek (@maciek) said on 13th November 2013, 2:49

    Bernie Ecclestone has no shame. What a distasteful, slimy little weasel. But anyhoo, Kubica not being in F1 is just one of those odd warps in the time-space continuum I think – it just plain shouldn’t be this way.

    With Scarbs’ 2014 illustration: why does the extension have to be just this skinny weird thing rather than something like the skinny-tipped noses we used to see circa 2007?

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 13th November 2013, 6:14

      The rules for next season require a high chassis of 525mm and a low nose tip at 185mm.
      But the regulations only demand a relatively small nose tip cross-section, and teams will want to minimise the width of this area to improve air flow under the chassis.

      The stepped noses don’t look so ugly now eh?

  15. first off, there is no point in Hulkenberg driving for Lotus because He’s already driving for Sauber, and the second reason is that it throws the whole driver line up way off, if it’s Jerome, then it’ll be fine but there was no point in trying to convince the F1 community about something that is a load of rubbish, and the claims that he’d drive for them because of this ‘Quantum’ thing with Lotus is also rubbish. Also about Kubica coming back, this is also a load of rubbish, look what he did in Canada a few years ago, if he’s that good at GP racing, it’s no wonder that he is winning rally races and becoming a championship contender.

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