Despite an healthy lead of over a minute by the end of day 1, and went on to win at Rally d’Italia Sardegna, WRC – 2013 in WRC2; the former F1 driver was ready to call it quits to the WRC event.
Reason : Only the top end competition [World Rally Cars] had the liberty of safety to have a two-minute gap between the cars leaving the starting line of the competitive special stages. WRC2, class & WRC3 class were timed with just a minute apart, in order to complete the stages well before the repetition for the second pass.
Issue : However the WRC2 class cars which are almost equally fast or even faster than the lower order WRC cars are caught in the lingering dust cloud in the stages that are raised by the cars driven before them, and the one-minute gap is too less for the dust to settle down for proper visibility. The Pole being the leader of the class and starting the last of the WRC2 cars was furious after being forced to stop/slowdown in the middle of the special stages due to the dust issue.
“We have to review this,” said Kubica. “If I had to come back with a one-minute gap then I would not come. There is no point to risk your life for this – it’s that simple.
“When I was doing F1, the FIA did a great job with safety, but what I have seen here is disappointing, it looks like nobody cares about the drivers.“, continued the Pole.
When Robert asked about the decision to run in one-minute gaps, the rally organisers said they acted within the sport’s regulations. The above clip of Robert driving through the cloud of dust is pretty good evidence of the serious safety issue both for the safety of crews & spectators at the stage.