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Robert Kubica
Robert-kubica-5
Born 7 December 1984
Kraków, Poland
Nationality Poland Polish
Formula One World Championship career
Years Active 2006-2010
Team(s) BMW Sauber, Renault F1
First Grand Prix 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix
Wins 1
Pole Positions 1
Fastest Laps 1
Podiums 12
Career Points 273
Final Grand Prix 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Robert Józef Kubica (born 7 December 1984 in Kraków, Poland) is a Polish rally and racing driver. He became the first Polish driver to compete in Formula One and in June 2008, he took his maiden F1 victory in the Canadian Grand Prix, becoming the first Polish driver to win an F1 race. On 6 February 2011, Kubica was seriously injured in a crash at the Ronde di Andora rally, in which his right forearm was partially severed, ending his career in Formula One. Kubica returned to racing in September 2012, competing in the World Rally Championship.

BiographyEdit

Pre-Formula OneEdit

Kubica began his career in the Polish Karting Championship, winning six titles in three years. After his third season, Kubica decided to switch to a more competitive league in Italy. In 1998 Kubica became the first foreigner to win the International Italian Junior Karting Championship. Kubica also scored second place in the European Junior Karting Championship and won the Junior Monaco Kart Cup. A year later, he defended his title in Italy and also competed in the International German Karting Championship. He also won the Monaco Kart Cup for the second time in a row, as well as the Margutti Trophy and Elf Masters races.

Kubica started his professional career in 2000, as a test driver for a Formula Renault 2000 car. During his first professional season in Formula Renault, Kubica scored his maiden pole position and also became a member of Renault's driver development programme. In 2002 Kubica won four races and scored a second place in the Italian Formula Renault 2000. He was also seventh in the Formula Renault Eurocup. At the end of the year he took part in a Brazilian Formula Renault 2000 race held at the Interlagos circuit. This one-off appearance resulted in a dominant win.

After Formula Renault, Kubica moved to the Formula Three Euro Series. He finished the season in 12th place. At the end of the year, Kubica won a street race in Sardinia and came fifth in races held in Macau and Korea. He ended his second season in the Formula 3 Euro Series, spent with the factory Mercedes team, in 7th position. In November 2004, he scored pole position in the Macau F3 Grand Prix, where he broke the lap record, but finished second in the race. In 2005 he won the World Series by Renault championship with the Epsilon Euskadi team, earning Formula One tests with Renault.

Formula OneEdit

2006Edit

In 2006, Kubica became the official reserve driver for the BMW Sauber Formula One team. His results in both Friday testing and private test sessions, along with the words of BMW Sauber team principal Mario Theissen, led to speculation that he would become Poland's first ever Formula One racing driver in 2007. In August 2006, Kubica's teammate, Jacques Villeneuve, complained about headaches after his accident during the German Grand Prix; he was deemed unfit to race by the team, against his own belief, and Kubica was chosen by the team management to replace him at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Kubica qualified ninth, beating his more experienced teammate Nick Heidfeld. In the race, he finished in seventh place, but was disqualified after the race for having an underweight car. Villeneuve decided to leave the BMW Sauber team soon after the race, and Kubica's position in the team for the remainder of the season was confirmed by BMW.

Kubica had a more disappointing race at the Turkish Grand Prix, finishing in 12th place after a mistake in tyre choice. In his third race, the Italian Grand Prix, Kubica finished in third position, and became the first Polish driver to appear on a Formula One podium, as well as the first Polish driver to lead a Grand Prix. He was the first driver since Alexander Wurz in 1997 to finish on the podium within his first three Formula One starts. In the last three races of the year he finished in non-points scoring positions.

2007Edit

Kubica performed well during the 2007 season, finishing consistently in point scoring positions. At the Canadian Grand Prix Kubica had a serious crash approaching the hairpin on lap 27, in which his car made contact with Jarno Trulli's Toyota, and hit a hump in the grass which lifted the car's nose into the air and left him unable to brake or steer. The car then rolled as it came back across the track, striking the wall on the outside of the hairpin and coming to rest on its side. The speed measured when his car clipped the barrier was 300.13 km/h (186.49 mph), at a 75-degree angle, subjecting Kubica to an average deceleration of 28 g. After data from the onboard accident data recorder had been analysed it was found that he had been subjected to a peak G-force of 75 G.

Under safety car conditions, Kubica was removed from the car and taken to the circuit's medical centre, where he was announced to be "stable", although no information regarding potential injuries was known at this time. Shortly afterwards, his manager Daniele Morelli said Kubica was conscious and talking. It was initially reported that Kubica could have a broken leg. However, Mario Theissen later confirmed that he was not seriously injured. Further reports from late evening on race day, directly from the hospital, confirmed that Kubica had suffered a light concussion alongside a sprained ankle. After being kept in overnight for observation, Kubica left hospital the following day.

On 14 June it was announced that as a precaution, Kubica would not race at the United States Grand Prix and would be replaced by test driver Sebastian Vettel. After missing Indianapolis, he returned for the French Grand Prix where he qualified and finished in fourth place, receiving ITV broadcaster Martin Brundle's driver of the day award. He then went on to finish fourth again at the British Grand Prix, followed by a further six points scoring finishes that year, gaining him a total of 39 points and sixth in the Drivers' Championship.

2008Edit

Kubica's retention as race driver for 2008 was confirmed on 21 August 2007. Over the first half of the season, Kubica qualified and finished strongly, including his and BMW Sauber's first pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix and second place finishes at the Malaysian and Monaco Grands Prix.

On 8 June 2008 at the Canadian Grand Prix, Kubica achieved his first Formula 1 victory. He started second on the grid and passed race leader Lewis Hamilton in the first round of pitstops after the BMW Sauber pit crew completed a faster pitstop. On leaving the pits, Kubica and Kimi Räikkönen's Ferrari halted at the pit lane exit, waiting for the red pit exit light to change. Hamilton, running immediately behind them, missed the light and crashed into Räikkönen's Ferrari, eliminating both cars from the race. Kubica rejoined the race well positioned for the eventual victory. The BMW Saubers finished first and second at the end of the race. Kubica later joked that he should thank Hamilton for electing to crash into Räikkönen instead of him. The win gave Kubica the lead in the drivers' championship.

BMW Sauber's results were weaker over the second half of the season. At the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours, Kubica finished 5th. Kubica's strongest result of the latter part of the year was in Japan where he qualified sixth. Kubica finished second after defending his position towards the end of the race against Räikkönen in a faster Ferrari (his fastest race lap was 0.6 seconds quicker than the Pole's). Apart from that, Kubica achieved podiums in the Street race in Valencia and in the rain affected race at Monza. Kubica finished the year fourth in the drivers' championship with 75 points.

2009Edit

At the 2009 season opener in Melbourne, Kubica managed to qualify fourth on the grid. During the race, he was in third place and closing the gap to the front two cars before making contact with Sebastian Vettel while trying to overtake him. After the incident, Kubica continued briefly, but crashed into a wall at the next corner because his front wing had become stuck under the car. BMW motorsport director, Mario Theissen, claimed that Kubica would have won the race ahead of Jenson Button had it not been for Vettel. The next five races were disappointing, with no points finishes and two retirements for Kubica.

At the Turkish Grand Prix, the team introduced the double diffuser. The car's performance improved and Kubica managed to score his first points of the season with a 7th place. In the next 3 races both BMW Sauber drivers finished outside the points again, but during the European and Belgian Grands Prix again proved to be competitive, scoring 8th and 4th positions respectively. At the Brazilian Grand Prix, Kubica scored his first podium of the season despite engine temperature problems by finishing in 2nd place, 7.6 seconds behind winner Mark Webber. The podium was BMW's second of the season. He ultimately finished the season in fourteenth place with 17 points.

On 29 July 2009, BMW announced that they would leave Formula One at the end of 2009, which made Kubica a free agent for the 2010 season. For the 2010 season, it was announced that he had signed for Renault F1, the team he tested for during his junior career.

2010Edit

Main Article: Robert Kubica/2010 Season

Kubica moved to Renault for 2010. Having joined a team that had also suffered a poor 2009 they rebounded together in 2010. He consistently got the most out of the R30, bringing it within range of the front-running teams.

2011Edit

Kubica was retained by Renault – rebranded as Lotus Renault GP through Lotus Cars sponsorship – into the 2011 season, again partnered with Petrov. He tested the team's new car, the Renault R31, for the first time in Valencia on 2 February. On the last day of testing in Valencia he set the fastest time of the session.

On 6 February 2011, Kubica was injured in a crash on the first stage of the Ronde di Andora rally. He was driving a Super 2000-specification Škoda Fabia, in Testico when his car left the road at high speed and hit a crash barrier, near the church of San Sebastiano. Kubica was trapped in the car for more than an hour before rescue workers were able to extricate him. He was flown by helicopter to Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure near Savona, where it was confirmed that he had suffered partial amputation of his forearm, compound fractures to his right elbow, shoulder and leg, as well as significant loss of blood. The severity of his injuries was the result of the crash barrier penetrating the car's cockpit, and hitting Kubica, while leaving his co-driver unscathed. Kubica underwent a seven hour operation by seven doctors split into two teams, without complications. Two more lengthy operations to repair fractures to his leg, shoulder and arm were performed successfully a few days later. The condition of his hand was not clear for some time and as a result he missed the 2011 season. As he was unable to start the season, Lotus Renault signed Nick Heidfeld as his replacement on 16 February, while Kubica still remained signed with the team for the 2011 seaso. Bruno Senna replaced Heidfeld later in the season, at the Belgian Grand Prix. Kubica was released from hospital to begin his rehabilitation on 24 April 2011. In November 2011 it was announced that Kubica would not be ready for the beginning of the 2012 season, forcing Renault, now Lotus F1, to begin the season with two other drivers, Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean.

His recovery was dealt another setback after he re-broke his right leg, when he reportedly slipped on ice near his home in Italy, on 11 January 2012. In August 2012, Kubica's friend Fernando Alonso suggested that any return from Kubica would be 'uncertain'.

Helmet DesignEdit

In 2006 the colour scheme of Kubica's helmet was Red and White reflecting the colours of his nations flag (Poland). From 2007 - 2009 again with BMW Sauber his helmet featured a colour sceme of Red with Dark Blue and White. His helmet often featured the Polish flag on the side. In 2010 Kubica changed the colour scheme to Yellow and Black reflecting the colours of the Renault team.

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2006 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 BHR
TD
MAL
TD
AUS
TD
SMR
TD
EUR
TD
ESP
TD
MON
TD
GBR
TD
CAN
TD
USA
TD
FRA
TD
GER
TD
HUN
DSQ
TUR
12
ITA
3
CHN
13
JPN
9
BRA
9
16th 6
2007 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.07 BMW P86/7 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
18
BHR
6
ESP
4
MON
5
CAN
Ret
USA FRA
4
GBR
4
EUR
7
HUN
5
TUR
8
ITA
5
BEL
9
JPN
7
CHN
Ret
BRA
5
6th 39
2008 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
2
BHR
3
ESP
4
TUR
4
MON
2
CAN
1
FRA
5
GBR
Ret
GER
7
HUN
8
EUR
3
BEL
6
ITA
3
SIN
11
JPN
2
CHN
6
BRA
11
4th 75
2009 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.09 BMW P86/9 2.4 V8 AUS
14
MAL
Ret
CHN
13
BHR
18
ESP
11
MON
Ret
TUR
7
GBR
13
GER
14
HUN
13
EUR
8
BEL
4
ITA
Ret
SIN
8
JPN
9
BRA
2
ABU
10
14th 17
2010 Renault F1 Team Renault R30 Renault RS27-2010 2.4 V8 BHR
11
AUS
2
MAL
4
CHN
5
ESP
8
MON
3
TUR
6
CAN
7
EUR
5
GBR
Ret
GER
7
HUN
Ret
BEL
3
ITA
8
SIN
7
JPN
Ret
KOR
5
BRA
9
ABU
5
8th 136

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