Robert Kubica fulfils a dream by driving an F1 car six years after career ending crash
Polish driver Robert Kubica thought that he would never drive an F1 car again after severing the median and ulnar nerves in his arm in a recreation...
Polish driver Robert Kubica thought that he would never drive an F1 car again after severing the median and ulnar nerves in his arm in a recreational rally accident six years ago. It was an accident that ended his F1 career and had major repercussions on others in F1 too.
The Polish driver had an early career littered with examples of accident prone behaviour, like a serious road accident on the eve of his breakthrough season in F3 and of course the most spectacular F1 accident of the last decade at Montreal with BMW Sauber in 2007.
However the rally accident, during a break from pre-season testing in February 2011, had ramifications for Ferrari too as Kubica had been lined up to drive alongside Fernando Alonso for the 2012 season, a move that would have changed many things in the ensuing seasons for Ferrari and for a few drivers' careers. Ferrari challenged for the world championship down to the last race of 2012.
Kubica was one of the most exciting talents of his generation and Sergio Marchionne, the boss of FIAT, now chairman of Ferrari, was a big admirer of the Pole, who raced in 76 Grands Prix, scoring 12 podiums and one win.
But today in Valencia, Spain Kubica (above Photo: Renault F1/Twitter) got back behind the wheel of a 2012 Renault F1 car and completed 115 laps.
He has driven in a variety of cars since his accident, mainly rally, but had a GP3 test and now the chance to drive again in an F1 car, thanks to the team he was contracted to when he crashed on a small local rally in Italy.
“I have mixed feelings, I am proud with what I achieved today, but also it shows what I have lost. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know one thing, after working for more than one year to prepare for this, I ran with good pace and consistent in difficult conditions. It is not easy after six years, but I knew I could do the job and I can be satisfied. I appreciate the opportunity. Renault gave me my first F1 test in 2005, so I appreciate another test this time around.
"I would like to thank everybody for making this possible, I hope it was a good day for everyone and maybe they saw something of my old, 2010 self," said Kubica.
"For me, it has been an important day from an emotional point of view. It has been a long time away from the paddock and I have been through difficult periods, I kept working hard and a few years ago I felt it was impossible."
Kubica was a contemporary of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg coming up through the system and was shaping up to be a driver to be feared in F1, after a breakthough win in Montreal in 2008 and a run at the title that year. He was frustrated that BMW did not throw everything at trying to develop the 2008 car after that win, but the cautious management, having met targets with that win, wanted to concentrate on a championship challenge the following year.
It didn't work out and the manufacturer left F1 a year later as the global financial crisis cut deeper, claiming Honda and Toyota as well as BMW.
The team reverted to being called Sauber.
Kubica completes F1 test with Renault at Valencia
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