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Kubica accepts others are ‘higher on the list’ for Alfa Romeo F1 seat

Robert Kubica has accepted there are drivers who are “higher on the list” than him for an Alfa Romeo Formula 1 seat in 2022, with his focus remaining in sportscars.

Robert Kubica, Test and Reserve Driver, Alfa Romeo Racing and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing

One-time grand prix winner Kubica has made two appearances for Alfa Romeo this season, deputising for Kimi Raikkonen at Zandvoort and Monza after the Finn contracted COVID-19.

Kubica linked up with Alfa Romeo as its reserve driver in 2020, having spent the previous season racing full-time with Williams, and his primary backer, Orlen, is the team’s title sponsor.

Alfa Romeo appears to have the final free seat on the F1 grid for next season, and has a shortlist of around five or six drivers to partner Valtteri Bottas, who will join from Mercedes.

Among those in contention are Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou and the team’s incumbent driver, Antonio Giovinazzi.

While Kubica felt you could “never say never” about a possible F1 comeback, he was aware there were many more drivers higher up the list than him to get the seat.

“I have learned from my life that everything can happen from day to day, positive or negative,” Kubica said.

“So never say never. But realistically, I think there are some other drivers who are probably higher on the list.

“I don’t know, you have to ask Fred [Vasseur].

“I have my racing programme with endurance racing, which of course normally I’m focused on all the attention there.

“This has been a bit different since Zandvoort, because I am here.

“I don’t know what [the future] will bring. But whatever it will bring, the future, I just have to wait and see.”

Kubica raced in DTM last year and has spent 2021 in the European Le Mans Series with Team WRT. He also made his debut at the Daytona 24 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, coming within a lap of victory in the latter before a late car failure.

The Pole felt people underestimated the challenge of jumping into an F1 car at the last minute and getting into the rhythm again, having only got the call-up at Zandvoort ahead of final practice.

“I would say most other people don’t realise how big and difficult it is to get back into F1 rhythm,” Kubica said.

“I liked my approach to be honest. Probably my experience - I don’t want to say my age, because I’m getting old! - I think this has helped me also to keep calm, go step by step, raise the game when I felt comfortable.

“When I didn’t have confidence, which I think was quite obvious, I was taking it on the safe side.”

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