- December 07, 1984
- Fia Formula One World Championship
The first ever Polish driver to compete in Formula 1 and one of the bravest and most enthusiastic men of this day, Robert Kubica is one of the most loved and admired racers ever.
He was the Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion in 2005 before stepping into Formula One in 2006. He spent five seasons in the world's premium single-seater competition (four with BMW Sauber and one with Renault), scoring one victory and twelve podiums.
Parallel to F1 commitments, he was competing in rallying until February 2011, when he almost lost a life in a horrible accident in Italy. He recovered and returned to rallying next year, then became the WRC2 champion in 2013. After two more years in rallying, he made a great comeback to Formula One in 2019, becoming full-time driver of Williams F1 Team.
After one season with Williams, his next challenge would be DTMin 2020.
Born on December 7, 1984, Kubica made his first driving steps in a small off-road vehicle bought by his father and soon got into 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.
After a successful career in karting, in 2000, Robert Kubica 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He has competed in then 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.
For 2016, Kubica has announced that he will turn to other racing options, most possibly circuit racing. He participated in the 2016 Rallye Monte-Carlo, not finishing the event. It was his last WRC appearance so far.
Later during a year, Kubica was behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in 12 Hours of Mugello and also participated as a guest driver in one round of the Renault Sport Trophy. In 2017, he was driving a Porsche at Dubai 24 Hours.
He made a step closer to return to Formula 1 by participating in tests with Renault and Williams. In January 2018, he was announced as a reserve and development driver for Williams Martini Racing in the 2018 F1 season.
After spending a year in a shadow, watching one of the worst seasons for Williams, he was promoted to a position of the full-time driver in the 2019 F1 season, alongside newly crowned F2 champion George Russell. The season wasn't better for Williams, with Kubica scoring one single point and Russell scoring no points.
At the end of the season, it was announced that Kubica will not race with the team in 2020. Williams replaced him with young Canadian Nicholas Latifi. A few days after that announcement, Kubica joined BMW Motorsport to competed in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).
Photos: bleacherreport.com motoryzacja.interia.pl speedsport-magazine.com wikimedia.org youtube.com lotos.pl
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