Polish driver Robert Kubica of the BMW Sauber team has been selected to receive the Lorenzo Bandini Award.
Given each year to an outstanding motorsport figure by Brisighella, the home town of the personable Italian driver who died as a result of an horrific crash in the 1967 Grand Prix of Monaco, the trophy acknowledges a driver's success as well as his association with Italy.
Kart racer Kubica moved to Italy as a youth to advance his racing career. His embrace included language fluency and a fondness for the food.
Kubica's Formula One career began in the latter half of the 2006 season upon which he made immediate impact. He finished third in his third race, the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. He scored points consistently through the 2007 season, in which he survived a lurid crash in Canada, and placed sixth in the World Drivers' Championship. He is fourth this season after back-to-back podium finishes at Malaysia and Bahrain.
Kubica, 23, worked his way through karting series to junior formulae. He won the Renault F3 World Series in 2005. He joined BMW Sauber as test/third driver in 2006, replacing Jacques Villeneuve, who crashed heavily at the German Grand Prix and suffered headaches thereafter.
Others who have earned the Bandini award, first given in 1992, include Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber and Felipe Massa.
Usually awarded at the F1 event in Imola, Italy, no longer on the calendar, the trophy is expected to be given to Kubica before the Monaco Grand Prix.