Robert Kubica’s dreams of returning to the F1 grid next year are not yet over, with the Pole still in the frame for a seat at Williams alongside new recruit and Mercedes protégé George Russell.
The 33-year-old is pursuing a fairytale comeback to the sport, after eight years off the grid, following life-threatening injuries sustained at the 2011 Ronde di Andora rally that have left him with a weakened right arm.
But last year the Grand Prix winner returned to an F1 cockpit for the first time since the crash, suiting up with Renault for three private tests.
…before more time with Williams, ultimately settling for a reserve and development drive after losing out to Sergey Sirotkin.
SOUNDBITE (English) ROBERT KUBICA,
RESERVE DRIVER, WILLIAMS:
“It has been a tough seven years but I think I have my old satisfactions and also being part of Williams this year is kind of a really great goal for me. I would say I will not regret anything what I have done in last few years.”
With Russell signed for 2019, Williams now needs to source sponsorship for its second seat, reckoned to be between $20 and $25 million US dollars.
Kubica, however, is said to have only have $10 million – which may not be enough, despite the team set to receive cash from Lawrence Stroll for his son Lance to be released to Racing Point Force India.
Williams says it will make its driver decision post-season in December, but Kubica says he can’t wait that long and hasn’t ruled out options elsewhere - with the 33-year-old said to have had initial discussions with Ferrari over a simulator-based development role.
… where he would replace Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniil Kvyat, both of whom will be on the F1 grid next year. The Scuderia a dream for Kubica, having signed with Ferrari for a race seat before his accident.
Either way, it’s an incredibly exciting prospect for one of the sport’s great talents, one who fans are desperate to see fulfill his potential.