JUNE 11, 2015
Kubica backs Alonso's huge challenge
Robert Kubica has backed his old friend Fernando Alonso's decision to join McLaren-Honda.
Much has been made of Spaniard Alonso's Ferrari departure, especially on the eve of the Italian team's resurgence in 2015.
Alonso, however, insists he made the right call as he didn't want to be "second forever" wearing a red uniform.
When asked about that comment, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene said: "People can say whatever they want.
"I know that what he said is not polite," he told F1's official website, "but I don't care."
That apparent impoliteness was evident even to McLaren-Honda during the Canadian grand prix, when Alonso said he rejected a radio instruction to save fuel because it made him look like an "amateur".
Managing director Jonathan Neale, however, excused the outburst.
"Fernando is great," he is quoted by the Mirror. "He's dynamite and if he wants to speak his mind, we'll let him do it.
"I do believe progress isn't made by reasonable men, so why would I expect my drivers to be reasonable?"
Some, however, think Alonso's notorious character might now begin to increasingly emerge in 2015, as his patience for the faltering project runs out.
But Kubica, who was one of Alonso's closest friends in the paddock until his own F1 career ended some years ago, backed the Spaniard's McLaren switch.
"Any person, and especially a driver, needs new challenges," the Pole, now a rally driver in the wake of his early 2011 crash and injuries, told Italian television Sky.
"When Fernando went to Ferrari, everyone including myself expected him to win titles. But it wasn't like that.
"So he has had to find new ideas and a different way," said Kubica, 30.
"What he has now is a huge challenge, but like any great challenge, when you make it to the finish line there is an even greater satisfaction.
"It is a risk, but he is one of the strongest drivers, if not the strongest driver there has been in recent years," he added.