Kubica reflects on first circuit racing podium since 2010

Robert Kubica says he was delighted to end a circuit racing podium drought stretching back to 2010 with a third-place finish in the penultimate round of the DTM season at Zolder.

Kubica reflects on first circuit racing podium since 2010

Kubica qualified 10th on the grid for the second of the two races at the Belgian venue on Sunday, and took advantage of the ensuing chaos ahead of him to jump to sixth place early on.

The Polish driver decided to extend his first stint and was last of the drivers to come into the pits on lap 18, with the strategic gamble allowing him to leapfrog the Audis of Mike Rockenfeller and Jamie Green to move up to fourth.

Equipped with fresher tyres, Kubica reeled in the WRT Audi of Ferdinand Habsburg with ease 12 laps from the finish, eventually finishing third behind championship protagonists Rene Rast and Nico Muller.

It marked Kubica’s first podium finish in his rookie DTM season with customer BMW squad ART, and his first in a top-level racing series since his drive to third place in the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix with the Renault F1 team.

Kubica admitted that an incident-packed race that saw six retirements played a part in his rostrum finish, but felt the result was “payoff” for the mechanics who rebuilt his car overnight following technical troubles in Saturday’s Race 1.

“Yeah, for sure it’s unexpected,” Kubica said after the race. “I think today we used our opportunities. Of course we were not able to finish on the podium [on merit alone], but [apart from] what happened in front of us [we] also [showed] quite good pace in crucial moments.  

“After yesterday we had a DNF with some technical issues, I think it’s great payoff for hardwork from the guys.

“It feels as a podium. It’s been a long time I haven’t been on the podium. Still third is not a win, but realistically we couldn't expect this. We take it home. 

“Quite important moment because in the end we joined the DTM this season and we had really difficult start of the year. I think this podium is great feeling, great day.

“Third is not a win but still better than being off the podium.”

Robert Kubica, Orlen Team ART, BMW M4 DTM

Robert Kubica, Orlen Team ART, BMW M4 DTM

Photo by: Andreas Beil

Kubica had endured a largely frustrating rookie campaign prior to the Zolder weekend, having scored a single point in the first seven rounds courtesy of a 10th place finish at Assen. 

While the Polish driver’s lack of results are largely down to his and ART’s limited experience in the DTM, their manufacturer of choice BMW has also been forced to play second fiddle to Audi in the second year of the Class One era.

BMW has scored just two victories in the opening 16 races of the year, allowing Audi to secure a clean sweep of manufacturers’, teams’ and drivers’ titles.

Kubica admitted that he couldn’t have expected to finish on the podium in 2020 given his and BMW’s lack of pace this season.

“Well to be honest looking at the season so far, we were struggling to enter top 10 for different reasons,” Kubica said when asked if he thought a podium was possible this season.

“I think lately the performance was better but bit inconsistent. Unfortunately we had some technical issues like Saturday [at Zolder], like in Nurburgring. Few mistakes, few operational misunderstandings. 

“To be honest I didn’t even think about it. I was always waking up and thinking of extracting maximum what it is. We have seen in DTM that it is a bit of rollercoaster. Especially it looks like with BMWs, you can be one day a hero and another day far behind.”

shares
comments

Related video

Zolder DTM: Rast takes dominant win, Kubica on the podium
Previous article

Zolder DTM: Rast takes dominant win, Kubica on the podium

Next article

New DTM leader Rast didn't expect 66-point swing in Zolder

New DTM leader Rast didn't expect 66-point swing in Zolder
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Prime

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in.

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream" Prime

How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet.

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Prime

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works.

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Prime

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Prime

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
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