“I mix the two things, driving an F1 car and racing. But definitely watching the others racing, F1 especially, is something that drivers are dreaming of.
“I did have that chance to race of course in the past, but I’m not that young anymore and my priorities are a bit different now, but the passion and the wish of racing on Sunday is quite high, but in reality, I know my place in the team and my role and I try to do my best in the role.”
Kubica has taken part in several practice sessions for Alfa Romeo and has a key role this year, as the team looks to make the most of its driver-in-the-loop simulator. It will require correlating virtual and real-world data, which will fall on Kubica’s shoulders.
“Now the simulator is ready to be developed and a large part of the job will be to do the correlation on track,” said Alfa Romeo team principal Frédéric Vasseur. “Robert will be back into the car each month or each two months to ensure the correlation is good.”
Kubica said that he was keen to take part in practice sessions, but understood the need for Räikkonen and Giovinazzi to have enough time in the car. “Of course, the change in the format of the weekend makes things a bit more complicated,” he said. “I think we’ll have to all sit down and decide. I know it’s not an easy call. From one side, I’ve been a racing driver and know how important it is to be in the car as the race driver, so I’m not keen to take FP1’s away from our drivers. But I’ll never say no if I get the chance.”
This year, Kubica has already raced in sports cars, making his maiden Rolex 24 appearance in January at Daytona with High Class Racing. Their race lasted just 56 laps though due to gearbox trouble.
He will also combine his Formula 1 reserve driver duties with a European Le Mans drive with Team WRT, driving its LMP2 Oreca as the outfit steps up to the prototype class. The Polish driver said he was excited about the opportunity to compete in a new series and type of racing.
“It’s a great opportunity I’ll have to discover a new series but also for a different way of racing. You’re sharing the car with your team-mates and while people associate endurance racing as being ‘reliability races’, they’re actually very long sprint races from a performance point of view.
“It’s very competitive in European Le Mans Series. We’re still getting ready, firstly to learn as much as I can and try to do something good. When you put the helmet on and jump in the car, you always want to do your best and try to get some good results.”