14 reasons why it's not just about F1 in 2014
The F1 season has kicked off, but there's lots more motorsport happening this year to get excited about...
Posted: 16 Mar 2014
6. Robert Kubica gets his career back on track
He won't say as much, but for Robert Kubica, Formula One is looking like a very distant dream indeed. A right wrist smashed to pieces in an off-season rally accident in early 2011 means he no longer has the strength and leverage he needs in the tight confines of an F1 cockpit. But F1's loss has been rallying's gain.
Kubica has proved himself to be an astonishingly versatile driver, happy dealing with 5g lateral cornering forces or naffing past trees in full Scandi mode. This adaptability has made the 29-year-old Pole a massive hit with rallying fans, and for 2014 he gets a proper break.
Last year, Kubica plied his trade in the lesser WRC2 category. He won it convincingly in his Citroen DS3, winning five rounds outright, so the French marque put him in its full-house WRC car for last November's Wales Rally GB. To put it mildly, that didn't go according to plan. Kubica crashed out. Twice.
It's possible that showing might have put Citroen off, but whatever the truth, Ford hasn't been shy about stepping into the breach, giving Kubica the car that his undoubted talent deserves. For 2014, he'll campaign a full-house M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC in every championship round, alongside Finn Mikko Hirvonen and Welshman Elfyn Evans.
TopGear awarded Kubica a Man of the Year 2012 award. And if he rewards Ford's faith in the manner we suspect, another could well be on the way, together, we suspect, with a fair few WRC podium places. And surely rallying success would help banish any remaining demons that must lurk in the back of his head, given his unfulfilled F1 career. But, for us, it's about more than that: Kubica provides floating viewers with a reason to tune into the WRC this year. Better still, he's not the only reason why rallying is on the up.