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Mat Coch writes:Former Formula One star Robert Kubica could be a future WRC star after winning the Rally di Como last weekend.
The Pole crashed heavily while competing in a rally at the beginning of 2011, his injuries ruling him out of Formula One ever since. At first it was thought his injuries, although serious, would only rule him out of competition short term however, as time has passed a return to the sport has looked less and less likely.
In September, Kubica claimed that he was still focussed on a Formula One return. He took part in the Ronde Gomitolo di Lana rally, an event he won, claiming it was the next stage in his rehabilitation. It prompted suggestions he could soon make a Formula One return, an idea put on ice when it was revealed the former Grand Prix winner still has insufficient movement in his arm to race a single seater.
"I have a big limitation of my arm which doesn't allow me to test single seaters," he said ahead of the Rally di Como last week, an event he went on to win.
The performance has prompted Benoit Nogier, Kimi Raikkonen's team boss during the Finn's stint in the WRC, to suggest Kubica could have a successful a career in rallying. "Of course the level will be higher than in Italy with people like Freddy Loix competing, but from what we saw last weekend Robert can win for sure," Nogier told WRC.com.
"The way he works and how he analyses the situation is very impressive. He is still inexperienced in rallying but his technical feedback is very good and he is doing all the right things.
Nogier believes Kubica could be more successful in rallying than Raikkonen because he is taking time, whereas Raikkonen jumped in at the deep end with very little experience.
"He is learning step-by-step and if he continues to do more rallies then his experience will improve and so will he," Nogier explained. "It's very difficult when a driver starts to know what step they will be able to reach but from what we know so far we cannot see any reason why he cannot improve and take more steps. But he needs more time in the car to do this."
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