First ever Polish driver to compete in F1 and one of the bravest and most enthusiastic men of this day, Robert Kubica is one of the most loved and admired racers ever. Born on December 7, 2014, Kubica made his first driving steps in a small off-road vehicle bought by his father and soon got into karting.
Robert Kubica at the beginning of his career
Success in karting
After turning ten, he could compete in Polish Karting Championship, winning six titles in three years. After his third season in Poland, Robert moved to Italy, and in 1998, he was the first foreigner to win the International Italian Junior Karting Championship. He also scored second in the European Junior Karting Championship, competed in International German Karting Championship and won the Monaco Kart Cup twice in a row.
Kubica with future F1 champions
Robert Kubica made his first big moves in Formula Renault 2000
After a successful career in karting, in 2000, RobertKubica moved to Formula Renault 2000, first as a test driver, and then as a member of Renault's driver development programme. In 2002, he won four races and one-second place in Italian Formula Renault 2000 and was seventh in the Formula Renault Eurocup. His only Brazilian Formula Renault 2000 race resulted in a dominant win at the Interlagos circuit.
Robert Kubica, RC Motorsport, 2002 Formula Renault
No injuries could ever stop Robert Kubica from quitting
His move to Formula 3 Euro Series had to be moved because of a serious injury he has sustained, leaving him with a broken arm held together by titanium screws. However, Robert won his debut race at Norisring, despite driving with braces and eighteen bolts in his hand. He finished his first season in 12th place, and the second season in 7th, driving for the Mercedes factory team.
Robert Kubica, Epsilon Euskadi, 2005 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champions
Finally, in 2005, he won the World Series by Renault championship with the Epsilon Euskadi team, earning his place as a Renault F1 test driver. That year, he also made an appearance for Carlin Motorsport, where he finished second two times in a row at Macau Grand Prix. His previous second place win was with Manor Motorsports.
Excellent 2008 season
In 2006, Kubica replaced BMW Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve for the Hungaroring GP, finishing in seventh, but was later disqualified. After Jacques left the team, Kubica became the second driver for BMW Sauber. In his third race, he finished third in Italian Grand Prix. In 2007, he had a horrendous crash at the Canadian GP, but despite being subjected to 75 Gs, he wasn't seriously injured.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 2007 British Grand Prix
He finished the 2008 F1 season in 4th, winning his only GP in Canada, but scoring three more second places in Malaysia, Monaco and Japan as well as three-thirds: Bahrain, Valencia and Monza. The year 2009 wasn't that good since he had only one podium finish in Brazil where he was second to Mark Webber. As BMW announced that they are leaving the sport, Robert moved to Renault's F1 team but success didn't follow and Kubica finished the season in 8th position.
Huge crash in Andora
For the next season, he made tests with the rebranded Lotus Renault GP, setting the fastest testing time in Valencia with a new car - Renault R31. But, everything changed on February 6, 2011, during the Ronde di Andora rally, where Kubica crashed his Škoda Fabia S2000.
Kubica after the crash at 2011 Rally Andorra
He was seriously injured after a barrier penetrated his car and partially amputating his right forearm and fracturing his elbow, shoulder and leg. Because of these serious injuries and their consequences, his return to Formula One for Lotus Renault GP unfortunately proved to be impossible, However, he managed to overcome them enough to return to rallying.
A successful return to rally racing
He has competed in then a new WRC-2 championship with great success in 2013 and moved to WRC in 2014 and 2015, but with no major results as he was mostly plagued by accidents and mechanical issues. In a Citroen DS3 RRC, he won the inaugural 2013 WRC-2 title, scoring five wins and one second place. In 2014, he switched to a Ford Fiesta RS WRC and his best result was sixth in Argentina. In 2015, his best results were in Poland and UK where he finished eighth and he rounded up the season on 12th position with 11 points.
Robert Kubica returned to rally
For 2016, Kubica has announced that he will turn to other racing options, most possibly circuit racing. However, he changed his mind and was among the 2016 Rallye Monte-Carlo starters what was, due to a lack of funding, his only WRC start that year. In March, the Polish driver was behind the wheel of GT3 Mercedes in 12 Hours of Mugello. He also participated as a guest in Renault Sport Trophy - Pro Class and Renault Sport Endurance Trophy, driving for Duqueine Engineering team.