Robert Kubica is back to Formula 1. This time for real, not as test driver
The millions of fans are thrilled and excited. One of the greatest comebacks in a history of Formula 1 will happen in 2019. Williams F1 Team announces today that Robert Kubica will drive for the team on a full-time schedule in the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship season, confirming rumours and unofficial stories that circulated in recent days.
Kubica will return to Formula 1 eight years after rallying accident in Italy in February 2011 violently interrupted his career. He survived with severe arm injuries and miraculously returned to rallying in 2013, not only as an ordinary driver but as a champion. In 2013, he won the WRC2 category in the FIA World Rally Championship. He spent two more full seasons in the premier WRC class and then decided to return to circuit racing.
In 2018, he returned to Formula 1, being hired by Williams as the test and reserve driver. A year later, he will start again in the championship in which he recorded 76 starts between 2006 and 2010, winning one race and scoring twelve podiums. He won the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, driving for Sauber. Kubica’s last F1 race was at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit in 2010, on the track where the big comeback was announced today.
Kubica’s teammate in 2019 would be George Russell, who leads in the FIA Formula 2 Championship and needs a decent result this weekend in Abu Dhabi to take the title.
Robert Kubica said: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me during what was a difficult period of my life over these last few years. It has been a challenging journey to make it back to the Formula One grid, but what seemed almost impossible is now beginning to feel possible, as I am excited to be able to say that I will be on the Formula One grid in 2019.
For sure, it has been a long road to get to this point, but as that challenge now comes to an end with this announcement, a new challenge begins working with Williams on track. It will not be easy, but with hard work and dedication, both George and myself will work together to try and help the team get in better shape to move further up the grid. This year has been tough, but I have learnt a lot, and I’d like to thank Sir Frank and Claire for this opportunity.
Being back on the F1 grid next season will be one of the greatest achievements of my life, and I’m sure with hard work and commitment we will be able to help motivate the team to achieve good things together. Thank you again to everyone who has supported me and believed in me. I will finally be back on the grid behind the wheel of an F1 car, and I cannot wait to get back racing.”
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, commented: “I am delighted to announce that Robert will be stepping up to the role of Race Driver to partner George in 2019. All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved, and it is a great credit to his strength of character and tenacity to return to Formula One.
“During this season his commitment to the team and the work he has put in behind the scenes has been unwavering, and he has become an established and much respected member of the Williams team. He has a level of determination that is remarkable to see; and he truly embodies the Williams fighting spirit. Having the consistency of Robert stepping up into this new role will be an important step for us as we look to fight our way back towards the front of the field. I am also excited to have a mixture of youth and experience to lead us into 2019 and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve on track. I would also like to thank Lance and Sergey for their hard work in what has been a challenging season. We wish them all the best for their future careers.”
Photos: Williams F1 Team,