Lotus is doing so well because it is a “pure racing team” according to Robert Kubica, the Pole who surely would have been driving this year’s impressive black and gold E20.
But the 27-year-old was seriously injured in a pre-season crash prior to the 2011 championship, and he is only now getting back to some minor rallying action, albeit without the full mobility of his right arm. Lotus chief Eric Boullier admitted recently that he no longer has any contact with Kubica, who raced for the team when it was still officially called Renault in 2010.
“I have contact with his management but nothing else,” said Boullier. “I’ve not been updated about his current state for a long time.”
Kubica, however, has admitted to admiring Lotus from afar in 2012.
“In my first year there it was Renault, but with the Genii Capital management,” he told Italy’s Omnicorse in an interview. “I was left with a (works Renault) team that no longer existed. We started the season with the previous car and got some good results despite a significantly lower budget and a delay with the development of the car, because in the winter we didn’t even know if the team would be there.
“Now I think it is starting to pay off,” Kubica explained, “because already in 2010 you could see what the strengths of the team were. Lotus is a pure racing team, and today in F1 there are not many. If you look at the top teams, the major manufacturers, they are difficult to manage with so many people.
“Lotus is a team with just the racing passion. It’s a big advantage,” he insisted. “Also they have a very good group of just a few people who are able to make very good single seaters. And this year you can see that,” added Kubica.
He admitted, however, that it is “strange” that Lotus has been unable to win a race so far with the very competitive E20.
“If Raikkonen could qualify higher on the grid, or Grosjean managed to keep up with Kimi during the race,” said Kubica, “they would win.”
So it’s a driver problem?
“No, I didn’t say that,” insisted Kubica.
But what about Romain Grosjean’s Monza ban? Did the rookie Frenchman deserve that?
“I don’t know,” said Kubica, “it’s not for me to judge, especially when I’m no longer part of that world. What I can say is that Grosjean, who is a guy I know well and is very smart, has wasted many opportunities this year.
“I’m surprised,” he added. “Probably he is suffering too much with the pressure. F1 is even more complex than it seems,” explained Kubica. “Believe me, it’s not easy to understand when you’re on the inside, let alone for those who are outside.”