[F1 2019 VIDEO FEATURE] ROBERT KUBICA: DREAM ACHIEVED

There was plenty of emotion at Albert Park on Sunday, with Polish racer Robert Kubica’s fairytale return to F1 coming true; despite the 34-year-old finishing 20th and last in the Australian Grand Prix… 

It was his first since Abu Dhabi 2010. Kubica returning after eight years, four months and four days. 159 races missed following his horrific crash at the 2011 Ronde di Andora rally… 

…that left him with a partially severed right forearm, an injury that required 18 operations over 20 months…

SOUNDBITE (English) ROBERT KUBICA,
F1 DRIVER, WILLIAMS:
“For a couple of years, it was more about fighting about health - trying to recover as much as you can. Nobody really knew how my body would react, what will be my final, let’s say, limitations. So I suffer a lot of injuries, a lot of fractures.”

But, recover he did, the Pole making his way back to F1 via rallying and exploratory tests with Renault and Williams.

SOUNDBITE (English) ROBERT KUBICA,
F1 DRIVER, WILLIAMS:
“I always had hope, I never close completely the door. I went back rallying in WRC so everybody thought I forgot about Formula 1…”

Incredibly, Kubica’s absence is only the fourth longest gap between Grand Prix starts, with that record held by Dutchman Jan Lammers, who’s ahead of Italian Luca Badoer, and American Pete Lovely. 

And while Williams’ troubles continue, with an undisclosed “fundamental issue” with the car and no technical leader, Kubica is not only experienced in development, but also popular with fans for much-needed positive news.

SOUNDBITE (English) CLAIRE WILLIAMS,
DEPUTY TEAM PRINCIPAL, WILLIAMS:
“Robert is incredibly popular, as we all know, not just in his home country of Poland, but across Europe, and really across the world. It’s extraordinary his popularity and I think a lot of that comes off the back of the determination and the passion that he clearly has.”

No doubt Australia was a difficult return, with Kubica initially unable to see the lights on the grid and a wing mirror lost with damage, but it’s a performance that he can build on across the next 20 events…

… starting with the Kingdom of Bahrain.