During an Instagram LIVE broadcast, Polish Formula 1 reserve driver Robert Kubica reveals his past and some surprising controversy regarding doping accusations.
During his formative years of racing, karting was the natural starting point and Robert’s father invested in a Go-Kart after noticing the natural speed and enthusiasm the youngster had whilst playing about with a small off-road vehicle. After a few years competing by 1998, Kubica was too young to start racing in the national Polish Karting Championship so it was decided that he would race in Italy.
“The most important races were held in Italy at that time,” he explains
“Italy is something like the center of the karting world,
“Back then, it was the strongest championship in Europe, maybe even in the world. Of course there were European and World Championships, but it was the toughest national championship,
“I was the first non-Italian in history to win the Italian championship,” Kubica proudly explains.
Somewhat bizarrely, the competition during those Championship wins in 1998 and 1999 started to think Kubica had been taking drugs. They were dumbfounded how the little boy from Poland with very little in the way of monetary support was able to demolish all the opposition on debut.
“Later on, I heard some nasty comments about me. After I left karting,
“I heard that some people thought I was on drugs. Unbelievable,” he laughs and adds: “Sometimes I was too focused and too clever. That was unusual for a child of 13 or 14 years old.”
“I won a lot more than I should have because I was simply a bit cleverer. I won some races that were impossible to win on pure speed. But it had nothing to do with taking illegal substances”
“I didn’t know for a long time whether I was good or not,” he reveals.
“I remember the first training session. Everyone had great karts and great helmets.
“My helmet was white and I had a normal jumpsuit with no sponsors. All my kart had on it was my name. There was nothing else on it, no stickers,” says Kubica.
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🇵🇱 @tymek_kucharczyk_racingdriver jest oficjalnym kierowca KUBICA KART i wystapi we wszystkich najwazniejszych wyscigach kartingowego sezonu 2020 ! Trzymajmy kciuki , Powodzenia 💪👊. 🇬🇧 @tymek_kucharczyk_racingdriver is official driver of KUBICA KART and he will take part in all most important races of 2020 karting season ! Fingers crossed , good luck 💪👊 #ilpolacchino #kucharczyk #kubicakart #birelart #kubica #rk #karting #racing
Kubica reveals how he realised he was really quick
His father had told him to simply follow one of the faster drivers during one of Roberts first ever training sessions.
“I drove out behind him, and after three or four laps I was faster than him. After practice I said to my father, ‘That wasn’t so bad. I was faster than him.’ He said, “No, no, he didn’t push. But in qualifying I went to pole,” grins Kubica.
“That’s when I realized that maybe I was better than I’d been told. My goal was just to make it to the final, to finish in the top 34. In the end I finished second, so I was a bit shocked,” recalls the now 35-year-old. A few years later he says: “In my entire career I’ve never been such a good driver as I was in karting.
“Maybe that was also because I had to grow up very quickly. I left my country at the age of 13, and at 15 I lived alone,”
“Many people didn’t understand where I actually come from.
“Some regions in Italy are not very good at geography. For them, all Eastern European countries are the same,” laughs Kubica.
Obviously, they all soon learned how to pronounce his name pretty fast!