Robert Kubica is taking a conservative approach to his maiden season in the DTM series, equating his involvement as a rookie in the category to “jumping into the deep water”.
The Polish driver will dovetail his reserve and development driver commitments in F1 with Alfa Romeo with a season in the German series racing an ART BMW M4.
It’s a new environment for the 35-year-old and one he got more acquainted with this week at the Nürburgring, during the series’ four-day test in which he piled up a whopping 1,968 kilometres and clocked in with the 12th fastest time overall, 0.582s adrift from Audi pacesetter Ferdinand Habsburg.
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“I’m looking very realistically to my opportunities and to this year,” said a humble Kubica after the test.
“Of course I rate very highly the field and the drivers in this championship. It’s kind of jumping into the deep water for me as I have no experience of these cars [in racing conditions].
“Formula 1 is the highest motorsport category on track, and WRC is the highest rally category.
“I participated in both of them, but still DTM I would not rate it far away from a competition point of view. So it’s a big challenge in front of me.
“The DTM is a very compact weekend, so there’s not a lot of running time, there’s not a lot of things you can do, [not a lot of] opportunities to learn. And experience plays a very important role.”
Kubica acknowledged the difficulties of switching to an entirely different category of racing and getting a firm grasp on the DTM’s intricacies.
“When you are racing for a very long time in one category, which is Formula 1, which is quite unique from the way you drive, from how the cars are feeling, and then you jump into a completely different category in DTM but still on very, very high level, and you go against the drivers who are especially [experienced] in this category, it has always been difficult and it will always be very difficult,” he admitted, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“Of course you can be more lucky, you can be less lucky, depending upon what car you are driving, depending upon how the situation is year-by-year, but definitely this is one of the aspects and one of the difficulties.
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“Even not only by driving, but procedures, operational [things]. For example, starts. Okay, I have done many standing starts, but last time I was using a clutch on the foot was 17 years ago.
“The experience you have from different categories is helping you bring very small percentages, and most of the things you have to kind of forget what you know, and learn from what is needed to drive this car and what is the best way to drive it and operate it.”
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