- Nationality: Polish
- Born: 7 December 1984
- Height: 1.83m
- Weight: 69kg
If you look up the word „tenacity“ in the dictionary, there should be a photo of Robert Kubica right beside it. The story of Robert Kubica’s rise in the world of motorsport, his devastating injury and subsequent return to racing and Formula 1 is a stuff of legend, one that is still being written. When it was announced that Robert Kubica would return to Formula 1 in 2019 behind the wheel of a Williams, the whole World took notice.
Robert’s is an unbelievable journey, one that started in Krakow, Poland, where he was born on December 7 1984. Robert’s interest in motorsport started at an early age. He started karting after getting his licence at age 10 and immediately entered the Polish Karting Championship. After winning six karting titles, Robert went on to race in Italy where he became the first foreigner to win the International Italian Junior Karting Championship. He then moved on to other karting series in Europe where he competed against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. He came second in the European Junior Karting Championship and won the Junior Monaco Kart Cup.
In 2000 Robert moved up to single-seater racing and took on the test driver role in Formula Renault 2000. He was immediately signed to Renault’s driver development programme. In 2001 Robert entered the Formula Renault Eurocup and Italian Formula Renault 2000 where he would win four races and finish second overall a year later. Moving on to Formula 3 Euro Series in 2003, he scored a win at the Norisring street circuit in a Renault, finishing 12th overall. He then moved on to Mercedes and finished second in 2004 at the non-championship race at Macau, breaking the lap record in the process. In 2005 Robert won the World Series by Renault championship in his first year, scoring four wins and eleven podiums, a result that gave him the opportunity to test with the Renault F1 Team.
He was not granted a Renault F1 seat, but got noticed by the BMW Sauber F1 Team who signed him for a 2006 reserve driver role. After Jacques Villeneuve left the team in the second half of the season, Robert got promoted to race driver status and became the first Polish driver to start an F1 Grand Prix. Robert impressed immediately, becoming the second driver ever to score a podium finish in just three races. He finished the season in 16th place.
He showed great form in his first full Formula 1 season by consistently scoring points, right up until he suffered his first huge crash at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. He missed the next race, but upon his return he out-qualified his teammate and finished fourth. Despite suffering bad luck in Canada, Robert finished the season 6th in the Championship.
Robert’s first win came in 2008, behind of the wheel of a BMW Sauber at the fateful Canadian Grand Prix. The season proved to be one of Robert’s strongest. He scored further 6 podium finishes and was in contention for the Drivers’ title until the penultimate race. He finished the 2008 season in 4th place.
2009 didn’t deliver on the promise of the previous year, but Robert still managed to score one podium finish in an otherwise uncompetitive BMW Sauber car. At the end of the year BMW pulled out of Formula 1 and Robert moved on to Renault in 2010.
The season turned out to be an improvement for Robert and the Renault Team as he scored 3 podium finishes and finished 8th overall. His good performance also attracted attention from Ferrari, but unfortunately it was not to be. In 2011 Robert suffered a horrific rally accident that resulted in his arm being almost completely severed and took him out of Formula 1 for the next few years.
As a testament to his tenacity and determination he returned to racing in 2012 after an extensive rehabilitation programme. In 2012 he competed in the World Rally Championship and won the World Rally Championship-2 title in 2013. Robert would continue to participate in World Rally and European Rally Championships until 2016 when his path back to Formula 1 started.
In 2017 Robert started testing with the Renault F1 Team and Williams, which eventually led to a position as Reserve & Development Driver for Williams in 2018. On November 22 2018 Williams announced Robert as their official racing driver for the 2019 season. The eyes of the World are now on Williams and Robert Kubica, but there is no doubt that a competitor as fierce and resilient as Robert is up to the challenge
Formula 1 career statistics
- Debut: 2006
- Starts: 89
- Wins: 1
- Podiums: 12
- Career points: 273
- Pole positions: 1
- Fastest laps: 1
- 2019 Race Driver for Williams Racing
- 2018 Reserve & Development Driver for Williams
- 2017 Test with Renault F1 Team and Williams
- 2014-2016 World Rally Championship
- 2013 World Rally 2 Championship Champion: 5 wins
- 2012 Return to rallying after severe injury
- 2010 Race Driver for Renault F1 Team, 8th: 3 podiums
- 2006-2009 Race Driver for BMW Sauber F1 Team: 1 win, 9 podiums
- 2005 World Series by Renault Champion: 4 wins, 11 podiums
- 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series, 7th: 3 podiums, 2nd in Macau Grand Prix
- 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series, 12th: 1 win, 2 podiums
- 2002 Formula Renault Italy 2000, 2nd: 4 wins, 6 podiums
- 2001 Debut in single-seaters
- 1995-2000 Karting: multiple title winner