Robert Kubica has all the qualities needed to star in rallying, according to 2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg.
Solberg was one of Kubica's passengers when the Pole tested a factory Ford Fiesta RS WRC in August last year. The Norwegian says he was instantly impressed by Kubica's command, control and motivation, and has no doubt the Pole will meet with success in his 2013 European Rally Championship campaign.
"Robert attended Ford's asphalt test in France last summer," Solberg explained. "He came in the Fiesta RS WRC with me and I went in the car with him and, I have to say, I was very, very impressed with the guy. Before he tested with us he borrowed a Fiesta and drove it privately so he knew what he was in for, but still the speed he was able to find from the car was incredible for somebody with so little experience.
"[His] ability was what came across straightaway when we were on track. He knew exactly where to put the car, where to find the grip, where to let it run. He will have this same rhythm when he starts the Canaries Rally later this month.
"He's a down-to-earth guy who is going to succeed. Big time."
Solberg played down suggestions Kubica could struggle on gravel, adding: "Some people are wondering about his chances on gravel rallies this year. For me, this will be no problem for him. He's a very clever guy who is always prepared; I'm sure Robert will have done plenty of testing on the loose well before he gets to Portugal.
"Yes, Portugal is a tough event to do for the first time, but I don't think he will have any problems at all."