A star emerges
Robert Kubica holds the honour of being the first, and so far only, Formula One driver from Poland, a country where he enjoys an incredible level of support. A promising driver from an early age, he made his first appearance in Hinwil as test driver for the BMW Sauber team in 2006. Later that year, he stood in to replace an indisposed Jacques Villeneuve and retained the seat for the remainder of the season, after the Canadian’s departure from the team.
Successful years in Hinwil
The following seasons saw Robert turn into a championship contender. A string of podiums for BMW Sauber filled the trophy cabinets, but the relationship between team and driver saw also dramatic moments, such as a massive shunt at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. Nonetheless, Robert mounted a title challenge in 2008, claiming his and the team’s maiden victory in Montreal and eventually finishing fourth in the drivers’ standings.
Coming back home
A switch to Renault in 2010 didn’t hurt Robert’s growing reputation within Formula One. However, the Pole’s career was halted by a rally accident that left him injured and out of the sport. A remarkable story of human perseverance and determination saw him return to Formula One with tests in 2017, a reserve driver contract at Williams in 2018 and finally a race seat in 2019. 2020 saw Robert return to the team where his Formula One career started, covering a test role and playing a crucial part in the development of the team’s simulator – and also standing out for Kimi Räikkönen in two races when the Finn was sidelined by COVID. In the Netherlands and Italy, despite little practice, Robert fought valiantly in the race, showing his class was not diminished by time.