Kubica: Joining DTM like "jumping into deep water"

Formula 1 race winner Robert Kubica expects racing in the DTM against experienced competitors to be like “jumping into the deep water” as he steps up his preparations for his debut in the tin-top category.

Kubica: Joining DTM like "jumping into deep water"

After losing his Williams F1 drive at the end of 2019, Kubica announced in February that he will be competing in the DTM this year in a customer BMW M4 operated by ART.

The Polish driver got his first taste of Class One machinery at the rookie test in December last year, and logged another 541 laps in the sole pre-season test at the Nurburgring this week, finishing 0.582s off the pace in 12th across the four days.

Kubica will be up against an established cast of DTM drivers this year, including double champions Marco Wittmann and Rene Rast, with WRT Audi drivers Fabio Scherer and Ed Jones being the only other rookies in the field.

Read Also:

Asked about his targets for his maiden season in the DTM, Kubica said: “I’m looking very realistically to my opportunities and to this year. 

“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.“

F1 convert Timo Glock didn’t score his first win until the final round of his maiden campaign in 2013 and recently admitted that it took him a long time to understand how to “drive this car fast.”

Kubica said he doesn’t expect the transition from F1 to the DTM to be easy and that he will have to “forget what I know” to get a better understanding of Class One machines.

“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,” Kubica said.

“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. 

“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.”

Robert Kubica, Orlen Team ART

Robert Kubica, Orlen Team ART

Photo by: BMW AG

shares
comments
Rast leads Glock as Nurburgring DTM test ends

Previous article

Rast leads Glock as Nurburgring DTM test ends

Next article

Berger: DTM taking a break in 2021 "not a good solution"

Berger: DTM taking a break in 2021 "not a good solution"
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Author Rachit Thukral
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020
Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit Prime

Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM at the end of 2020 was the latest blow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive.

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing Prime

Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was a detractor of Formula E and held a reluctance for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. However, this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure DTM's existence as the motorsport world moves forward

DTM
Dec 13, 2019
What the fallout from Aston's engine split means for 2020 Prime

What the fallout from Aston's engine split means for 2020

Aston Martin's DTM arrival, via the R-Motorsport outfit, was heralded as a salvation of sorts for the series. After plenty of bumps in the road in 2019, the team finds itself in a similar position to the one it was in 12 months ago. Can it get its act together?

DTM
Dec 6, 2019
How the DTM and Super GT can build on their experiment Prime

How the DTM and Super GT can build on their experiment

The Class One 'Dream Race' staged by the DTM and SUPER GT proved a hit - from a competitive and collaborative standpoint. The next step will be for both parties to ensure a successful trial ends up being more than just that.

Super GT
Nov 29, 2019
Robot pitcrews and hydrogen – is DTM's concept plausible? Prime

Robot pitcrews and hydrogen – is DTM's concept plausible?

DTM organiser ITR has mooted a radical plan for a "truly new and inspiring" future motorsport series. How realistic are its suggestions of automated pitstops and 1000bhp hydrogen-fuelled touring cars?

DTM
Nov 11, 2019